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Workers Memorial Day 2016 Provides Focus On Strong Laws

Those Who Died At Work Are Remembered By Loved Ones


Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Serious injury and specialist workplace lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell say there are still too many disasters at work and health and safety laws must continue to improve as families mourn on Worker’s Memorial Day (28 April).


The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics 2014/15 reveal that 142 workers were killed at work – nine more than the previous year. Furthermore, 1.2 million workers suffered from an illness that they believe was made worse, or caused by work, and more than 27 million working days were lost due to work related ill-health or injury.


Worker’s Memorial Day is a day to ‘remember the dead and to fight for the living’ by paying respects to those who have died as a result of their employment, continuing to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase protection in place for employees.


Within the last year alone, lives continue to have been lost and serious injuries caused in workplace incidents across the country. From mill and factory explosions in Cheshire, South Wales and Sheffield, to workers being crushed by heavy machinery, and more recently, workers hospitalised after a fire broke out in one of Europe’s deepest mines at ICL UK Boulby.


This year’s theme for the day focuses on ‘strong laws – strong enforcement - strong unions,’ according to the Trades Union Congress.


Stephen Nye, a partner and national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented families who have lost loved ones as a result of accidents at work, said:

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“We have repeatedly called for improvements to safety standards in the workplace and will continue to do so until companies stop putting the lives of employees at risk. All employers should be able to go to and from work every day without facing risk of injury or worse.

“We are fighting for greater levels of protection all year round but Workers Memorial Day is a day in particular to remember those who have sadly lost their lives because of their employment. Time and time again we are approached by workers who have become ill by failings of health and safety in their workplace, or by people who have lost a loved one at work whose lives have been devastated as a result.

“There are 13,000 deaths a year from lung disease and cancer which are attributed to exposure of chemicals in the workplace. These deaths and others can be prevented with greater attention to health and safety, appropriate training, equipment and supervision.

“The issue of health and safety in the workplace is a significant one for employers and employees alike. Good health and safety is good for business. The issue of workplace health and safety needs to be given serious consideration by all interested parties. There needs to be a move away from inaccurate, irresponsible ‘health and safety gone mad’ stories. Attention also needs to be given to how to address the problem of unscrupulous employers failing to comply with their legal duty to take out employer liability insurance.

“We are campaigning today and shall continue to campaign to ensure that workers’ safety is a priority for the government, and that these risks are confronted head on with practical solutions.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

Events will be taking place across the country and our lawyers will be attending Worker’s Memorial Day ceremonies in Birmingham, Corby and Solihull.

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