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International Workers' Memorial Day Marked By Law Firm Campaigning For Workplace Improvements

Annual Day Will Remember Those Killed At Work

26.04.2019

Emma Bolton, Press Officer | +44 (0)114 294 7843

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are marking International Workers’ Memorial Day by continuing their fight for justice for those killed as a result of poor working conditions.

The national law firm continues to support the annual event, a day to “remember the dead; fight for the living”, taking place on Sunday, 28 April. This year’s theme is entitled “dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace” and will focus mainly on carcinogens such as asbestos.

Latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics have revealed that around 2,600 people die from mesothelioma – a type of terminal cancer linked to asbestos which often develops decades after exposure - each year.

Expert Opinion
“International Workers’ Memorial Day is an important time to honour the memory of those who have died as a result of inadequate health and safety practices but also to campaign for continued improvements.

Sadly through our work we regularly see the devastating national legacy that asbestos in the workplace has created. The HSE’s figures vividly highlight how dangerous the material is, why it is vital that employees are protected and how needed this year’s focus on removing asbestos from the workplace is.

The issue of health and safety is crucially important to protect employers and employees and is one we will continue to campaign on.”
Adrian Budgen, Partner

The HSE figures also revealed that 144 workers were killed at work in 2017/18, with many of the deaths caused by falls, and 1.4million working people are suffering from a work-related illness.

In addition, the latest statistics found that 555,000 injuries occurred at work, with 71,062 injuries to employees reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR), and the cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions estimated £15billion in 2016/17.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is co-ordinating nationwide events to mark this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, which will also focus on the dangers of diesel exhaust in the workplace, and illnesses such as asthma or dermatitis.  Meanwhile, workers and their representatives from all around the world are due to hold commemorations and activities, with some expected to take place on the Friday, Saturday or Monday surrounding the occasion.

For more information on the HSE and the latest figures, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases