Get involved ahead of #IWMD24

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International Workers’ Memorial Day (IMWD), held on April 28 every year, brings together workers and their representatives from all over the world to ‘remember the dead and fight for the living’.

Unite branches are organising events in towns and cities across the UK and making use of a host of resources to promote IWMD in their workplaces and local communities.

This year, the International Workers’ Memorial Day theme is Climate Crisis and Workers’ Health, which will focus on exploring the wide-ranging impact of climate change on occupational health and safety.

Outdoor work in jobs such as construction or agriculture can increase the risks from hazards exacerbated by climate change such as heat stress, UV radiation, air pollution and extreme weather events.

Working in extreme weather can cause fatigue and increases workplace injuries and stress-related disease. Higher UV exposure place workers at risk of chronic health problems, including skin cancer, eye damage, and mental ill health.

Unite is encouraging members to get involved by organising an event in their workplace that promotes workers’ rights to safe jobs, or to remember colleagues that have died or been injured at work. The union is calling on everyone to share photos on social media, in the local press and with Unite’s web team.

To help you, Unite has produced a variety of posters and other resources for you to download and put on union notice boards or around workplaces. These can be found on Unite’s Workers Memorial Day page.

Unite national health and safety advisor Rob Miguel said, “It is timely that International Workers’ Memorial Day this year focuses on the climate crisis and workers’ health. Climate change, with resulting extreme weather patterns, hazardous environments and a growing number of heat events, will have a huge impact on safe and healthy working conditions for thousands of workers across the UK.

“This will have a knock-on effect on job security and general health for both indoor and outdoor workers, with cooling systems failing to keep up and hazardous conditions making travel to work dangerous.”

“I would encourage all Unite health and safety reps to get involved with local events near them, make use of the fantastic resources available, and raise the profile of workplace safety in the press and on social media.”

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!

By Keith Hatch