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Workers memorial day to be officially recognised

23 January 2013

The Government's decision to formally recognise Workers' Memorial Day has been widely welcomed by safety campaigners...

The Government's decision to formally recognise Workers' Memorial Day has been widely welcomed by safety campaigners.

This year, the UK will join the many other countries around the world that officially recognise the Day on 28 April, the International Day of Action for Safety and Health at Work. Formal recognition will reinforce the significance of the Day and raise awareness of the number of people who are killed, disabled, injured or made unwell through their work.

There have been an increasing number of commemorative events in the UK in recent years as Workers Memorial Day has become a focal point for bereaved families, unions, campaign organisations and local authorities among others. As more people have become involved in these events, there has been growing support for formal recognition of the Day.

Welcoming the announcement International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) Chief Executive Brian Nimick commented: “Official recognition of Workers Memorial Day is both a logical and a progressive step in the right direction to highlight the real purpose of health and safety legislation: to save lives. IIRSM fully supports the commemoration of those people who have lost their lives or suffered serious injury through work-related accidents. Further, IIRSM believes the day will serve to emphasise the importance of health and safety awareness for everyone.”

Commemorations will continue to be led by individuals, employers, trade unions and community organisations. In keeping with the outcome of the consultation, the Government will encourage commemorations to be held on the day itself throughout the UK. The Government and Ministers will help support and promote these commemorations.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC said: "Workers' Memorial Day has been an important date in the trade union calendar for many years and we look forward to working with ministers to increase its profile.”