Labour Research June 2016

Health & Safety Matters

Unions point to deaths on workers’ memorial day

The deaths of two workers on Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) are a poignant reminder of the dangers workers continue to face, say unions. 

Held annually on 28 April, WMD sees unions and safety campaigners remembering those killed and injured on the job. Events around the UK take place under the slogan “Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living” (see Labour Research, April 2016, page 27).

The Unite general union called for a full and prompt investigation into the death of a construction worker who is understood to have been killed after being hit by the boom of a crane he was directing on the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth. 

“Once again, a loved one has gone to work and will not return home,” said Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty. “That is hard to swallow any day but on today of all days, on International Workers’ Memorial Day, when we remember those who have perished at work, this loss is especially poignant.” 

Meanwhile, public services union UNISON reported that a collision between two Welsh ambulances in North Wales had left one member of a Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust team dead and the other two seriously injured.