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Impact of climate change to be highlighted at International Workers’ Memorial Day event in Inverness

By Val Sweeney

The workers' memorial at Friars Shott in Inverness.
The workers' memorial at Friars Shott in Inverness.

The impacts of climate change on workers’ safety and health will be highlighted during a ceremony in Inverness later this month.

Wreaths will be placed at the workers' memorial at Friars Shott in Huntly Street to mark International Workers' Memorial Day which brings people together to remember the dead and fight for the living.

The gathering, which will take place on Friday April 26, is being organised by Inverness and District Trades Union Council.

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International Workers’ Memorial Day is commemorated annually by the trade union movement throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

It aims to remember all workers who have lost their lives to workplace illness or injury, and to recommit to fighting to keep workers safe

With last year being the hottest year on record, the theme for 2024's Workers' Memorial Day is the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety.

International Workers' Memorial Day will be marked in Inverness on April 26.
International Workers' Memorial Day will be marked in Inverness on April 26.

The Trades Union Congress states: “Death at work and employment disruption as a result of global warming, not to mention occupational illnesses caused by polluting fossil fuels, are rising everywhere, and are only expected to increase.

“Stand with us this year to remember the early victims of climate change-caused heat stress, UV radiation, air pollution, industrial accidents, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, and chemical exposure - and commit to fight for a world that's more, not less, safe to live and work in.”

Work in extreme weather can cause fatigue and increases in workplace injuries and stress-related disease while higher UV exposures place workers at risk of chronic health problems, including skin cancer and eye damage.

The TUC is calling for timely, worker-friendly climate action to protect the planet and future-proof jobs.

“Every country, every town, every workplace needs a plan to get us to a zero carbon economy on time,” it states.

“Done right, this transition could mean good jobs, cleaner air and warmer homes for all.”

The Inverness event on April 26 starts at noon and will also include short speeches. All are welcome to attend.

The memorial, which was unveiled in 2017, is made of Caithness stone and incorporates seating.

It is understood to be the only such memorial with an English inscription – Remember The Dead – Fight For The Living – plus Gaelic wording

A separate event will take place in the summer to mark 50 years of the Health and Safety at Work Act being passed.

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