Workers’ Memorial Day takes place annually on 28 April 2016
Victims of workplace accidents, the families of those killed and injured in accidents, trade unionists, workplace health and safety campaigners and representatives from Thompsons Solicitors will come together today to remember those who have lost their lives through work, and to campaign to ensure that such tragedies are not repeated.
The purpose of Workers’ Memorial Day, which takes place annually on 28 April, is to remember the dead and fight for the living. This year it will be taken one step further, with the theme of ‘Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions’ designed to try and fight the growing number of attacks on health and safety protection in the workplace.
Provision for ensuring workers are protected is diminishing here in the UK, with the government already having removed protection for self-employed workers and the number of workplace inspections has fallen over the course of the last five years.
Events and demonstrations to promote the people’s workplace rights and to remember those who have lost their lives will take place across the country to make today’s awareness day.
In 2014/15, more than 600,000 people were injured at work, while 142 workers died in an accident at work, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Of those injured, almost a quarter reported having to have more than seven days away from work to recover.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “While Workers’ Memorial Day is recognised by the UK government and employers, the irony is that this Tory government has continually sought to erode workers’ right to a safe and healthy workplace and too many employers seek to get round what law there is.
“From decades of working with victims of workplace accidents, as well as the families of those seriously injured and killed at work, we know all too well that most could have been avoided, often with a simple and cost-effective change in working practices or a little pre thought to a job in hand. Unfortunately too many employers don’t deal with the basics until it’s too late.
“We are proud to join the TUC and those committed to workers health and safety on Workers’ Memorial Day to commemorate those who have been affected by workplace negligence and the fight will go on to protect what we have and for genuine improvements in health and safety regulations.”