Minister Nash Announces National Day of Action to Mark Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland

Congress, Ibec, HSA promote prevention culture on national day of remembrance for those lost or injured in work related accidents

Businesses, organisations and workers everywhere invited to mark Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland on 28th April 2015

The Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash T.D., has announced that a day of action to mark Workers’ Memorial Day will take place on 28th April next.  This will be an annual event from now on to promote safety and health in the workplace, with the support of workers, employers and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). 

A special ceremony involving the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Congress), Ibec and the HSA will take place in Dublin.  Workers, businesses, organisations and communities nationwide are also being invited to mark Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland on that date.

Workers’ Memorial Day is the date every year when trade union and employer groups worldwide, as well as individual organisations, remember those who have been killed or injured in work related accidents. 

In an effort to raise awareness of the crucial importance of safety and health in the workplace, Minister Nash invited Congress, Ibec and the HSA to create a national day of action and commemoration.  Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland will remember workers lost and injured and will highlight the importance of safety, health and welfare at work.  The theme of this year’s inaugural event is:  Remembering the past for a safe and healthy future.

In the 5 year period between 2010 and 2014, 253 people were killed in work related accidents in Ireland and many thousands more badly injured. Last year alone 56 people died. 

Minister Ged Nash said, “These are shocking figures by any standards.  No job is worth someone’s life, but every year people are killed in foreseeable and preventable work related accidents. It’s only by working together for the common good that we’ll see a significant drop in these horrific numbers, and we all have a responsibility to make sure that happens.”

Minister Nash will represent the Government at the ceremony which will take place at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square, Dublin 1 at 9.00 am on 28th April.  Congress will be represented by General Secretary Patricia King; the HSA by Chief Executive Martin O’Halloran and Ibec by Chief Executive Danny McCoy.  These three executives have also jointly signed a letter that is being sent to their members, local authorities and other stakeholders nationwide encouraging participation and support.

Minister Nash continued, “April 28th provides an important opportunity to remember those we have lost and those who have been injured in the workplace.  It also gives us a focal point where everyone – workers and employers – can create awareness and action to ensure a culture of prevention at work.  Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland will be an annual event from now on and I welcome the collaboration and co-operation of Congress, Ibec and the Health and Safety Authority.

“While this is just one day, we want it to have a significance and meaning that carries on throughout the entire year.  In setting this agenda, we remember workers lost or injured and families who have lost loved ones.  Nobody should be impacted by a work related accident or fatality.  Everyone is entitled to a safe working environment and to return home unharmed each day.  We must all remember that and renew our commitment to safety and wellbeing throughout our working lives.”