Workers’ Memorial Day is the day when the International Labour Movement remembers those who have been killed or injured in workplace accidents and those who have died from occupational diseases. The event was been running for 25 years worldwide and Ian is proud to join the Edinburgh Trades Council and USDAW, the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers, at a ceremony at the Memorial Tree in West Princes Street Gardens between noon and 1pm on Thursday 28 April.
Ian said, “It is important that we remember those workers that have suffered fatal accidents and injury in the workplace. I am proud the have a wreath laid at the ceremony to commemorate the victims of such avoidable tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and along with my colleagues in the Labour Party at the House of Commons and Lords we vow that we shall never forget.”
Public spending cuts to the Health and Safety Executive and to local authorities are seriously limiting their ability to inspect and enforce the workplace. The Minster for Health and Safety has said that he wants to see a substantial cut in the number of inspections and has announced yet another review of health and safety law. The Government continues to argue that health and safety is an unnecessary burden on business. But the reality is that at least 20,000 people die prematurely every year because of occupational injury or disease and 2.2 million people suffer from work related ill-health. Many of them continue to work, despite their illness, while others are forced on to long term sick leave.
Inspectors are needed to visit workplaces to ensure that employers are obeying the law and to support those that need help. If employers know that there is very little chance of them being inspected, they will see little reason to make sure they are complying with the regulations on health and safety.
If this Government continues to cut the amount of money for health and safety people will die as a result.