20 April 2022

International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) 2022

The theme for 28 April this year is ‘occupational health and safety is a human right’.

On 28 April, the international trade union movement participates in events to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of poor health and safety practices at work and how we fight for improvements today, so that it doesn’t happen again. This year’s theme is ‘occupational health and safety is a human right’.

With the government removing the legal requirement on employers to carry out Covid 19 risk assessments, removing the requirement to record cases and access to free testing, it is down to the trade unions to use existing health and safety law and regulations to enforce our rights to a safe and healthy working environment.

There have been over 160,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK, and the death rate is nearly twice as high if you come from an economically deprived background. The discriminatory practice of not paying full sick pay has further increased death rates amongst black and Asian workers.

Remember the dead, fight for the living

All branches are encouraged to organise an event to mark IWMD this year. You may want to hold a memorial service for colleagues we have lost this year, a branch health and safety inspection or an online event. Please discuss this in your branch and let us know your plans.

We are especially looking to hear from any branches who have good examples of where they have used health and safety rights and regulations to organise effectively in the workplace for a union training video.

If you would like further assistance or a discussion about organising an event and what support we can provide, please let us know.

Please email healthandsafety@pcs.org.uk on all of the above.

Further resources

  • Log into PCS Digital to view the health and safety section on PCS Knowledge. 
  • The TUC has created an online memorial wall to remember someone who has lost their life to work. You can submit a tribute online.
  • The TUC has created a timeline showing events in British labour history where employer and government failures led to the preventable deaths of workers. It also includes dates which mark when trade unions won key legislative change to protect rights to safety at work.

See the list of events taking place near you and submit your own event to the list.