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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 osh@ictu.ie 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 https://twibbon.com/Support/workers-memorial-day-11
  • 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


Ireland: ICTU is encouraging all union members to add a ‘Twibbon’ on their To mark #IWMD @irishcongress is encouraging all union members to add a ‘Twibbon’ on your profile pic profile pic

To mark #IWMD @irishcongress (ICTU)  is encouraging all union members to add a ‘Twibbon‘ on their profile pic

Ireland: International Workers’ Memorial Day April 28th Ireland 2021

Congress has adopted the ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) slogan for this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day which is “Workplace health and safety – it’s your right”.

There will be a commemorative wreath-laying event to remember all those who have been killed, injured, or made ill at work. The event is also to highlight safety in the workplace.

An online event and ceremony will be broadcast on social media at noon on Wednesday, April 28th.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has taken the lead for many years, with support since 2015, from the HSA, Ibec, CIF, and the Government, in marking Worker’s Memorial Day.


Ireland: Remember the dead and support those who sustain us in a crisis – ICTU

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions will mark 28 April by remembering the dead and fighting for the living.

Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) commemorates 28 April

“On behalf of the Irish Congress Trade Unions I wish to welcome everyone here today on this important annual wreath laying event to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day. Today we join thousands of others across the world who have marked this date over the weekend. Today is a way of remembering those who have been killed or injured at or because of work or who have contracted a work-related illness or disease,” said Alison Millar.

Speaking at the wreath laying ceremony at the Stormont Estate, Ms Millar added: “Since we last met here a year ago we have unfortunately had more accidents in the workplace and more occupational diseases which has resulted in the unfortunate and timely death of colleagues – both those who are trade union members and those who were not. We stand in solidarity with the families and friends of each and everyone of our fellow workers to reflect on this senseless loss.

“Colleagues I hope you will forgive me for mentioning one of our trade union colleagues – Lyra McKee. As everyone will know over the last week and half there has rightfully been a huge out pouring of grief, shock and anger at the death of Lyra carried out by those in our society who would wish to take us back to the dark days.

“There must be no going back – we challenge those who know who was responsible for Lyra’s murder to advise the PSNI and bring her killers to justice. As many have already said since 18th April – Not in Our Name.”
Saturday 4th May – the May Day Parade in Belfast will be another opportunity for the trade union movement to remember Lyra and many others who have died carrying out their work.

The NIPSA General Secretary continued: “A big issue for society and the trade union movement to tackle is the issue Mental Health which has unfortunately also become a killer in the workplace with far too many members believing they have no alternative but to take their own lives.

“We must ensure employers address the issue of mental health and ensure our members health, safety and welfare is a key issue. When employers have happy and healthy employee they will be more productive workers and will be able to cope with the day to day stresses which arise in the workplace and outside of work.

“We must ensure that members feel supported both by their employers and their trade union – it must be ok to say I am not ok – I need help. At the moment in most instances that is not the case. Mental Health is something that has been hidden away for far too long.

“Colleagues, friends and comrades – Let us remember those who are no longer with us – and ensure that when we gather again here next year that we will all be able to say we have done our part to ensure as far as humanly possible workers are safer in the workplace and beyond.

“Thank you for attending.”


Ireland: ICTU – Government backing for 28 April

Congress, alongside trade unions around the world, has for many years celebrated Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28th. The Health & Safety Committee of Congress has, in recent years, called for official government recognition of this important memorial. It is therefore significant that our marking of the day in 2015 will be the first time such official backing has been given.  More