More construction workers have died on UK sites over the past decade than soldiers fighting overseas. 453 British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. Over the same period, more than 760 construction workers have been killed on British soil alone.
However, globally over 20,000 people die every year because of their work. Most of these because of exposure to dangerous substances.
This year the theme for the day is "Removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace." Hazardous substances are found in almost every workplace in the UK and many workers have no protection against the possible effects, despite the fact that tens of thousands of workers have their health destroyed by asthma, dermatitis, lung disorders, occupational respiratory disease and cancers because of exposure.
Over the last year there were over 3,000 deaths due to asbestos and respirable crystalline silica exposure in the UK alone.
International Worker’s Memorial Day is a time when we remember all those from around the world who have been killed at work. It is also a time when we, in construction, pay tribute to our colleagues who have been killed whilst working on building sites in the UK.
At 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday 28th April we will be holding a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives in the industry as well as the families left without a father and a wage-earner.
The timing of 10.30 a.m. coincides with the annual meeting held at the ‘Building Worker Statue’ at Tower Hill.
We expect everyone to respect this one minute’s silence.
This will be indicated at our head office by the fire alarm at the start and end of the minute. We would ask that our teams on site also take part in this period of remembrance.