REV SUSAN BRANDT
Worldwide millions die each year as a result of workplace hazards. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. The global trade union movement wants employers to be accountable for workers’ health and safety. Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous. Every year, people in communities and at workplaces around the globe recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job. Trade unionists around the world now mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning. A new briefing from the International Labor Organization (ILO) reports one worker dies every fifteen seconds worldwide. Six thousand a day. Work kills more people than wars. It also injures and mutilates. Almost 270 million accidents are recorded each year, of which 350,000 are fatal. Many of these tragedies could be prevented, Work causes injuries, mutilations, sickness and, still all too often, death. Not by chance, but through negligence. Due not to the absence of standards, but to their violation. Not because of poverty, but because of the lack of preventive measures. All too often today workers’ lives continue to be unnecessarily put at risk.
Health and safety in the workplace is the sole responsibility of the employer
Lets take a moment of silence to remember
We remember those we have lost with great fondness.
They gave much to the world; as individuals, family members, friends and work colleagues.
We remember their families in their enormous sadness.
For those who have died at work building a better place for the rest of us.
Those who died while constructing our buildings and expressways, hospitals and schools.
For those who have died young and innocent, victims of avoidable accidents
May we learn from this loss, honour the memory of those lost
And work towards a safer work place for all people
Where the rights and dignity of all workers are upheld above all else