To mark International Workers Memorial Day the STUC is calling for increased enforcement of health and safety legislation and a concerted effort by employers to work with trade unions in demanding the Scottish Government introduce a long term strategy leading to comprehensive and sustainable occupational health provision.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said
"On the first of April, fourteen oil workers and two crew from Bond Helicopters lost their lives on a routine flight from the Miller Platform to Dyce. On the 11 May we will commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the ICL Stockline tragedy where nine people lost their lives.
"We are gathering to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day at a time when 16 bereaved families who lost loved ones in the recent tragedy are going through the same pain and suffering that nine families faced in May 2004. Unnecessary pain and suffering that many families face every year.
"We do not really have an accurate picture of how many people in Scotland lose their lives as a result of workplace accidents, ill-health or mental ill health that is wholly or partly attributable to work.
"Nor do our workers have access to occupational health provision that is independent and accessible and we believe the Scottish Government should investigate the economic cost of work related ill health and disease in Scotland including costs of NHS treatment and bring forward proposals for funded occupational health provisions delivered by the NHS.
"Only by having effective and adequately resourced health and safety enforcement agencies, along with comprehensive and accessible occupational health provision, can we realistically expect to improve on our rate of accidents and incidences of occupational ill health and protect families from unnecessary heartache.
For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100