Category Archives: 2022 Ireland

Ireland: ICTU supports the ETUC’s Zero work deaths campaign on 28 April


Thursday 28th April 2022 – Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living

Congress,  along with the Government, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), Ibec, and the CIF will collectively mark Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland on April 28th  at the national and annual commemorative event to remember people killed, injured, made ill and bereaved through work-related accidents.

Congress President Kevin Callinan will be joined by Sharon McGuinness, CEO of the Health & Safety Authority, and Minister Damien English TD who will lay a wreath in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance on behalf of the state to remember those workers we have lost. They will be joined by members of the Deasy family, whose son Lorcan died in a construction accident.

In Ireland in the ten year period between 2012 and 2021, 481 people were killed in work-related incidents and many thousands more were severely injured or made ill. In 2021, 38 people were killed in accidents. We know that in addition to these official figures, we have also lost many front-line workers to Covid-19 over the last 2 years.

Part of the tragedy of these losses is that we actually know how to stop workplace fatalities and injuries. The evidence is there. It involves workers and managers cooperating to create safe systems of work, to assess hazards and to reduce risks. It involves education and training for workers and management and support for the role of safety reps in our workplaces. It requires monitoring, prevention, protection, and reporting. And it also requires compliance measures including inspections, and penalties for those who do not take their legal and moral responsibilities seriously.

Congress will therefore be supporting a new campaign promoted by the European Trade Union Confederation for “Zero Deaths” at work. Zero death at work is not a utopian dream. The trend in fatal workplace accidents is down and eradication of fatal accidents is achievable. Every death at work is one too many.

The EU’s current health and safety strategy says “All efforts must be deployed to reduce work-related deaths as much as possible, in line with a Vision Zero approach to work-related deaths”. These are fine words, but the actions promised in it will not achieve zero deaths. However, we know that the tools exist to make this happen. It just needs commitment and political will. We need the EU, our own government, our partners gathered here today, and trade unions also, to “walk the walk” rather than “talk the talk”.

This means a concerted joined-up effort to

–   Prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases, stopping exposure to hazardous and cancer-causing substances and being ready for further pandemics

– Making the physical and mental health of workers the point of departure when organising work and designing the workplace.

While fatal accidents are declining, occupational diseases are increasing. Some 100,000 workers in Europe die every year from occupational cancer due to exposure to hazardous substances. Long working hours and psychological pressure at work cause heart-disease, stroke, depression, and suicide. Bad posture, repetitive movement and heavy lifting cause backpain and other ‘musculoskeletal’ disorders and in turn cause depression and people being unable to work.

Source: ICTU


Ireland: Workers’ Memorial Day 2022 | ICTU

Congress IWMD logo

Thursday 28th April 2022 – Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living

Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28th will be marked with a ceremony to be held in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

Congress representatives will be joined by the HSA, Ibec, CIF and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for a number of short addresses and the laying of a commemorative wreath by Minister Damien English TD. Please contact us at if you wish to attend.

Workers representing a variety of sectors will lay flowers in memory of those who have been killed, injured or made ill at work.

Congress is asking all affiliated unions to encourage events in workplaces to mark the day.

There are a wide range of initiatives that unions can consider including:

  • Get involved in creating awareness by using the official Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland logo on your website, social media presence, presentations, email signatures, displays and in offices and workplaces.  The logo is available below; just right-click and save.
  • Website/Newsletter content
  • Social media content. For example, take a photo of your activity or event and share it on social media.  Please use the hashtag #WorkersMemorialDay and #IWMD22 on any posts and tag relevant organisations
  • Add an overlay to your organisation or personal Twitter account at
  • In-house training sessions or a toolbox talk
  • Guest speaker presentation to staff
  • Team activities focusing on workplace safety and health
  • Press release to your local/national media marking your event or the day itself
  • Your own ceremonial event or minutes silence to mark the occasion

Source: Workers’ Memorial Day 2022, ICTU