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The annual Workers Memorial Day (WMD) was recognised in the UK this week, with activities taking place throughout the country.

The worldwide initiative to promote the health and safety of workers was first started in Canada in the 1980s, and has been recognised in Europe since 1992. With the day also serving as a time for people to think about those killed at work, it has the motto:

“Remember the dead. Fight for the living.”

The day got under way with a minute of silence at the CWU National Annual Conference. Those who attended the Bournemouth event were asked to wear purple ribbons and provided with a leaflet outlining what WMD aims to do.

One of the focuses for this year's campaign came from lawyers, calling for more action to be taken for worker safety, such as ensuring the right workwear is worn.

With the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive revealing that over 13,000 people died through work-related illnesses throughout 2012/13, industrial lawyer Ian Bailey said:

“Each and every workplace death has a devastating impact on the victim’s family and friends and we believe that the government should be doing everything in its power to ensure that employees can feel safe as possible.”

Bailey went on to say that while attempts to cut red tape in the workplace were a good thing, it should not be done at the expense of worker safety.

Over 50 official vigils, demonstrations and marches took place across the country to commemorate WMD.

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