When H&S falls off the agenda, lives are lost says leading law firm on International Workers’ Memorial Day22 April 2016
Thompsons Solicitors branches across the UK join International Workers’ Memorial Day events
Families and colleagues of those who have lost their lives at work will gather on International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD), 28 April 2016 at memorials across the UK.
At a time when more people are killed at work than they are in wars, International Worker’s Memorial Day seeks to remember those who have died while at work, and campaign for more stringent health and safety protection for workers everywhere. The Hazards Campaign estimates that in the UK there are over 1,000 people who lost their lives due to work-related incidents in 2014/15 alone.
This year’s IWMD theme is ‘Strong Laws - Strong enforcement - Strong Unions’ in recognition of the significant contribution the trade union movement has made to improving worker safety, and the need for tough laws and sanctions for employers who fail to meet health and safety standards.
Hundreds of events will be taking place to commemorate the day, and Thompsons Solicitors, the UK’s largest trade union law firm, will be raising awareness of the issues alongside regional TUC groups.
On Saturday 23 April, and in Ashington, Northumberland, a march will take place on the way to the Memorial Garden in North Seaton Cemetery.
Mourners will gather on Thursday 28 April at the South Piazza of Georges Dock Building in Liverpool to remember the dead. Campaigners in Nottingham will be cycling from Bestwood to Shirebrook to raise awareness, and will plant a tree in memory of fallen colleagues.
In East London, activities including wreath-laying will be taking place at Waltham Forest Town Hall and attendees in Chelmsford will gather at Chelmsford Central Park.
Gerard Stilliard, head of personal injury strategy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “We’re proud to take part in such an important campaign – the sad reality is that we frequently see first-hand the devastation of work-related deaths, most of which could have been prevented if employers had prioritised the safety of their workforce. We want to see stricter, tougher laws to prevent this from happening.
“We know that due to unrelenting government cuts, the Health and Safety Executive simply does not have the time or resources to scrutinise workplaces as thoroughly as they and we would like, and the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the last five years.
“All the evidence points to the fact that when health and safety falls off the agenda, lives are lost.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with families, friends and colleagues of anyone who has died of a work-related incident – be that as a result of negligence or poor working conditions. We will continue to fight for the rights of workers everywhere in the UK, and will not accept this government’s lax attitude to the lives of the country’s workforce.”
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