Every year on 28 April, trade unions and workplace health and safety campaigners all over the world remember those who have tragically lost their lives because of work. The slogan for the day is “remember the dead – fight for the living” and this year’s theme focuses on Strong Laws, Strong Enforcement and Strong Union.
Despite stringent health and safety regulations here in the UK, sadly there are still too many injuries or fatalities caused as a result of workplace accidents or illnesses. The latest figures for 2014/15 from the Health and Safety Executive reveal that:
- 1.2 million working people are suffering from a work-related illness
- 2,538 mesothelioma deaths were due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
- 142 workers were killed at work
- 76,000 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR
- 611,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
- 27.3 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- £14.3 billion was the estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2013/14)
Lara Murray, a health and safety legal specialist with Palmers, said: “Despite the health and safety regulations we have in place in this country, sadly there are still too many avoidable accidents which are either claiming or ruining the lives of many workers.
“Workers Memorial Day is an opportunity to pause for thought, not only to remember those who have lost their lives, but also to consider what we can do to ensure that lessons are learned in a bid to stop others needless tragedies from occurring in the future.”