From Sun Apr 27 17:00:08 2003
Subject: The modern workplace is a weapon of mass destruction
From: Eric Lee <>
To: <>
Organization: LabourStart
Date: 28 Apr 2003 08:40:23 +0100

The modern workplace is a weapon of mass destruction

From Eric Lee, 28 April 2003

Here's a statistic to make you stop and think:

According to the International Labour Organization, every year around two million workers die because of their jobs.

Every single day of the year, more people die at work than died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Today is a good day to think about these things.

April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, which shares the same acronym (WMD) as ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.

And in the modern world, the workplace has become a weapon of mass destruction.


The web is full of things you can do today, and here's a selection of some highlights:

Want to know what's happening in your country today?

Check out Hazards Magazine's website which has a special feature with a country-by-country breakdown of activities, here:

The China Labour Bulletin has launched an online campaign against the country's terrible health and safety record. In 2002, there were no fewer than 110,000 deaths from industrial accidents in China. You can learn more and send an email message in support of their campaign:

Britain's Trades Union Congress (TUC) has launched a ‘virtual book of remembrance’ where workers can post memorials to colleagues who have died at work. This extraordinary use of the net went live this morning, here:

The TUC's online ‘Risks’ health and safety newsletter has a special issue out for the occasion, available here:

Australian unions called for a number of measures including a minute's silence in the workplace:

A full list of events across Canada—where Workers Memorial Day began in 1984—is available here:

In the US, the AFL-CIO has created an extensive collection of online resources, including poems and clip art, for Workers Memorial Day:

And of course, don't forget to check out LabourStart's own special coverage of the SARS crisis, here:


Please pass this message on to your mailing lists—and make sure your fellow union members are subscribed to LabourStart's mailing list. Go here to sign up:

In solidarity,

Eric Lee