Ahead of the first International Workers Memorial Day (Wednesday 28th April) to be recognised formally by the UK Government the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has called for communities throughout Scotland to remember the hundred of Scottish workers who have died in the past year as a result of industrial injury or disease.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said
“The STUC has supported International Workers Memorial Day since 1993 and we today repeat our call that it is a basic human right that a worker and their families should be safe in the knowledge that they will return unharmed after a day at work.
“Unfortunately, this is not always the case and HSE statistics reveal that in the last year 26 people lost their lives as a result of workplace accidents with a further 8910 suffering major injuries.
“However, this figure does not take into account workers who have been killed in work related road traffic accidents, as a result of occupational diseases such as mesothelioma or in incidents investigated by other agencies such as the Marine Accident or Air Accident Investigation Boards.
“These tragic incidents are most often found to have been easily preventable but too many families are left to suffer the pain and heartache of a lost loved one and too many workers are faced with the prospect of never working again due to the failure of employers to undertake the necessary precautions to protect their workforce.
“We need to ensure that we have effective HSE and local authority enforcement that retains its powers to inspect all workplaces and employers are never allowed to turn inspectors away for the factory gates.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP prior to attending the ceremony at Hamilton, South Lanarkshire at said
“This event allows us to remember all those who have lost their lives or their livelihoods because of unsafe workplaces or practices. But it is also an opportunity to consider what more needs to be done to further improve health and safety at work, both here in Scotland and across the world.
“I am delighted to offer the Scottish Government’s support to this event and hope it helps raise the profile and public awareness of the day.”
For further information contact;
Office 0141 337 8100 Mobile 07974 966227
Notes to editors
Details of events attached
International Workers Memorial Day Events Wednesday 28th April
Greenock 11.00 Clyde Square
Hamilton 11.45 Townhouse – Minutes silence at 12.00
Glasgow 11.45 George Square
Coatbridge 12.00- 13.00 Summerlee Industrial Museum
Edinburgh 12.00 West Princes Street Gardens Last years event
Bathgate 10.00-12.00 Seminar Bathgate Sports Centre 12.30-13.00 Ceremony Workers Memorial
Alloa TBC Clackmannanshire Council Buildings
Dundee TBC Adjacent to Discovery Quay
Midlothian TBC King George V Park Bonnyrigg
Paisley TBC Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street
Aberdeen TBC Seminar: Town House Wreath laying: Persley Gardens Memorial