Trade unions, workers and their communities are mobilising on this 28th April 2010 to commemorate workers who have lost their lives or health at work, and to fight for better occupational health and safety.

Each and every day of the year, workplace accidents kill more than 1,000 workers.  And diseases related to working conditions add more than 5,330 to this death toll every day. In other words more than 270 workers are killed every single hour.  In addition, 906,000 workers suffer injuries every day because of accidents at the workplace.

“On top of the already unsafe and precarious working conditions many workers face around the world, these times of economic crisis – and unscrupulous employers – mean less protection and more insecurity,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “Unions are key for ensuring that safe and sustainable work is not a privilege for the few, but a right for every worker. That is why the ITUC has chosen ‘Unions make work safer’ as the motto for our actions on this 28th April 2010.”

28 April is set to be the largest workplace health and safety event in history, with events set to take place in over 100 countries. The ITUC/Hazards global events map is already becoming crowded with 28 April updates from throughout Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Australasia and Europe. So far, unions in over 70 countries have confirmed activities ranging from commemorations, to protests, to training days, and new national reports are pouring in by the hour.

Trade unions, governments, and many other institutions including the ILO as well as a broad spectrum of professional and non-governmental organisations, and even some employers, are organising activities in countries around the world. Join them!

The ITUC, in addition to promoting and coordinating internationally this day, will organise its own event at 9.45 am, in the ITUH auditorium, in Brussels, Belgium. Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the ITUC, and John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will speak at this ceremony. Activities planned include the performance of the “Ensemble Vocal Chantfolllies”, candle lighting and a minute of silence. 

Find your country activities in our joint ITUC/hazards interactive map: