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Workers Memorial Day Provides Focus for Improving Safety For UK Workers

Lawyers Urge Bosses To Make Health Of Employees Their ‘Number One’ Priority


A leading workplace injury and illness expert says employers must make their workers’ safety the number one priority as recent figures show significant numbers of people are being killed because of ‘basic failings’ in health and safety. 

As the families of victims mourn across the UK on Workers Memorial Day (28 April 2012), leading workplace illness lawyer David Urpeth from Irwin Mitchell says more still needs to be done to improve safety.

Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that there were 171 fatal workplace accidents in the UK in 2010/11 with hundreds more dying as a result of industrial illness such as the asbestos related mesothelioma.

Representatives from Irwin Mitchell’s offices around the country are supporting a series of Workers Memorial Day Events.

David said: “Time and time again we are approached for help by people whose lives have been shattered by the loss of a loved one at work.

“Unfortunately many accidents in the workplace are the result of basic failings in following health and safety guidance put in place to prevent injury and protect workers.

“The latest HSE figures show that 171 people died in workplace accidents last year. Add to this the thousands killed by industrial illness such as those caused by asbestos exposure and the numbers are shocking. Workers should be entitled to go to work and return home safely at the end of the day. All too often this sadly doesn’t happen.

“At Irwin Mitchell, we‘re extremely concerned about potential cuts to Health and Safety legislation discussed by the Government. David Cameron has said that he wants to cut the number of rules and look at the way they are enforced. Although efficiencies are important in any business, preventing accidents must be the top priority and any changes cannot be made at the expense of people’s lives.
“We have repeatedly called for improvements to safety standards in the workplace and will continue to do so until businesses stop putting their employees’ lives at risk. That is why so many people support Workers Memorial Day as a chance to reinforce the message that more can be done.”