Today is International Workers Memorial day – a global day of remembrance for all those who have died at work or because of work due to none existing or non-implemented health and safety laws, inappropriate safety procedures or equipment, employers who treat their employees as expendable with little or no respect for their lives or their health or just through plain ignorance or neglect about the adverse impacts of processes, chemicals, pesticides or machinery.
Maybe we sometimes forget with all the focus on chemicals legislation that workers are at the front lines of usage. Whether it be in the laboratory developing new and untested ingredients, or through constant exposure on the production line, or through using a product repeatedly day in day out. Maybe by inhaling toxic chemicals, pesticides or harmful substances through the skin, nose and mouth while spraying, washing, cleaning, stirring or even being or living in the same space where toxic chemicals are used. Many handle products which leach endocrine disruptors minute by minute as part of their job or expose the developing foetus unwittingly to toxic insults because of the work they do.
We must remember that much of this work is done for below the basic minimum wage, and in countries where resources are plundered and environments and wildlife destroyed to satisfy an often unnecessary need or sometimes for just plain greed. We all need to work together to bring an end to this injustice and to protect the health of workers, citizens, consumers and save our precious wildlife and planet.
Please remember today and every day – one worker dies every 15 seconds due to occupational injury or illness worldwide.
No one deserves to die at work, no one deserves to be exposure unknowingly or unwittingly to anything which may hurt, maim or kill them or their families. We need to remember the dead and continue to fight like hell for the living.
Hash tag: #IWMD16
Website: Produced by Hazards Magazine and the ITUC – http://28april.org/ Resources, up to date information and graphics available here.
Relevant twitter handles: @hazardsmagazine @hazardseditor @ITUC @etuc_ces – only a selection of the wrodlwide action today.
Cancer Hazards produced by the ITUC, Hazards magazine and the Alliance for Cancer Prevention: http://www.ituc-csi.org/28-april-2016-mobilising-for