Thompsons Solicitors will be highlighting the importance of health and safety in the workplace on 19 April as it hosts the Hazards Conference at its Manchester office.

The conference will include speakers from UNISON, Unite, the BFAWU and Prospect, as well as Phil Liptrot, a personal injury specialist at Thompsons Solicitors. It has been organised by the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, an independent organisation that provides trade union members, workers and community group’s advice and support about health and safety in the workplace.

“Our goal may appear simple, but we have a long way to go to reach it.”

Phil Liptrot, Personal Injury Specialist at Thompsons Solicitors

The two hour conference will take place just over a week before Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April. Thompsons Solicitors, the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre and other workplace safety campaigners across the UK will support the annual event, organised by the Trades Union Congress, with the aim to “remember the dead and fight for the living.” The theme this year is ‘union workplaces are safer workplaces’.

Thompsons Solicitors has supported the trade union movement since it was formed in 1921, campaigning with unions to improve safety standards for workers. This includes the firm winning the UK’s first industrial disease case in 1956, successfully taking the first asbestos case to the House of Lords in 1972 and playing a part in the creation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – an Act that has been pivotal in ensuring workplace safety for staff.

Phil Liptrot, who is speaking at the Hazards Conference in Manchester, said: “I am looking forward to joining trade union representatives and activists at the conference, with all of us having the same goal – to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety and to significantly reduce the number of people injured or killed while doing their jobs.”

According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2016/17 alone, 1.3 million people were suffering from a work-related illness and 609,000 were injured at work. In 2015, there were 2,542 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposure. Meanwhile, the Hazards Campaign at the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre reports at least 51,177 work-related deaths in 2016/17.

“Our goal may appear simple, but we have a long way to go to reach it,” Phil continued. “The number of workplace injuries is unacceptably high so, as we approach Workers’ Memorial Day, this conference will highlight what needs to be done in order to back up the positive work the trade union movement continues to encourage.”

The Hazards Conference will take place on Thursday 19 April from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester office on 55 King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ.

A video created by the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, BECTU and the University of Salford, featuring Phil Liptrot, of Thompsons Solicitors