The UK will officially recognise Workers' Memorial Day to commemorate thousands of people who have died, been seriously injured or made ill through their work, Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper has announced.
Welcoming the decision to give the government stamp of approval to the annual 28 April worldwide event, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This special day commemorates the many thousands of people who have died as a result of their work and we're pleased the government has taken the step of recognising it. Workers' Memorial Day has been an important date in the trade union calendar for many years and we look forward to working with ministers to increase its profile."
Announcing the move, which followed a government consultation, work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper said: 'This is a tribute to all those who have campaigned long and hard, including bereaved families, trade unions, campaign groups, and many other organisations and individuals. For the first time, the UK will join countries across the globe in remembrance of all those killed at work and for the families they have left behind, and the many more who have been harmed. It is also a spur to greater efforts to improve health and safety for today's and tomorrow's working population.' As part of its support for the 28 April event, the government will encourage commemorations to be held on the day throughout the UK, with ministers committed to help support and promote these commemorations. Workers' Memorial Day is when workers around the world remember the dead and campaign for improved workplace safety to protect the living. To mark the day this year, the TUC is calling for a minute's silence in workplaces up and down the country at noon on Wednesday 28 April.