April 28 Is Internationally Recognised As Workers’ Memorial Day To Remember Those Killed Through Work
Serious injury and specialist workplace lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell are calling for more awareness of workplace safety on International Workers’ Memorial Day as they continue to fight for justice for those who lost their lives due to poor working conditions.
The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2015/16 state that 144 workers were killed at work which is an increase on the previous year. In addition to this, 1.3 million working people are suffering from a work-related illness. Regrettably this figure is a further increase on the previous year’s figures.
Workers’ 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 workers.
Within the last year alone, lives continue to have been lost and serious injuries caused in workplace incidents across the country. The HSE figures estimate that beyond the 144 workplace deaths, there were 621,000 injuries that occurred at work including people falling from a height, to being hit by a moving object.
This year’s theme for the annual day of remembrance is ‘Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are’ and will focus on inequalities in occupational health 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:
Expert Opinion“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 their workers at risk. It should be fundamental that employees should be able to go to and from work every day without facing risk of injury or death.
“We are fighting for greater levels of protection all year round but Workers’ Memorial Day is a day for reflection and to remember those who have tragically lost their lives due to their employment.
“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
Adrian Budgen, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion“We are regularly contacted by workers who have become ill because of the failings in their employer’s commitment to health and safety in the workplace, or by bereaved people who have lost a loved one at work whose lives have been devastated as a result.
“The issue of health and safety in the workplace is a crucially important one for both employers and employees. Good health and safety practices are good for business but the issue of workplace health and safety has to be given very serious consideration by all interested parties.
“At Irwin Mitchell we have previously called for a move away from inaccurate, irresponsible ‘health and safety gone mad’ stories before and we repeat that call today. Attention should also be given to addressing the problem of unscrupulous employers failing to comply with the legal requirement to take out employer’s liability insurance.” Adrian Budgen - Partner