Workers' Memorial Day Remembers The Hundreds That Die At Work In The UK Each Year

Employer neglect continues to claim lives

28.04.2009

229 people died between 2007 and 2008 in work related incidents

2 million people in the UK suffered from work-related illnesses last year

Tuesday, 28th April marks International Workers’ Memorial Day, a time set aside to remember those who have been killed or injured at work.

According to HSE figures, 229 people were killed in 2007-08 in work related incidents in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing and services industries. A shocking 5 people each day died from Mesothelioma, an asbestos related condition, with a   further 2.1 million people in the UK suffering from illness as a direct result of their work.

Colin Ettinger, partner and an expert in workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, which represents the families of victims of employer negligence said:  “We work with victims whose lives have been shattered by accidents at work that were entirely preventable. Every employer has a duty to ensure that employees are able to work safely.  Health and safety rules are there for a reason and if they are properly adhered to people will not suffer these illnesses and injuries.

"At Irwin Mitchell we want to use Workers’ Memorial Day as an opportunity to raise awareness of the neglect that is costing thousands of hard-working individuals their lives each year. We want to see more prosecutions of employers who fail to protect their staff."

Key figures:

  • In agriculture there were 39 fatal injuries, which is equivalent to 9.7 deaths per 100 000 workers.
  • The construction industry saw 72 fatal injuries; a rate of 3.4 deaths per 100 000 workers.
  • In manufacturing there were 35 fatal injuries and the rate of fatal injury was 1.1 per 100 000 workers.
In the services sector there were 74 fatalities; which made the rate of fatal injury 0.30 deaths per 100 000 workers.