|Photograph is copyright Mark Harvey|
2.3 million people a year are killed by work worldwide. This figure is greater than the numbers killed by war. The loss of life at the Bhopal tragedy 30 years ago and amongst building workers constructing the stadiums that will host the World Cup in Brazil this summer were commemorated amongst a crowd that included the wife and family of Edward Draper. A dangerous driver who later served a small prison sentence tragically killed the motorway maintenance worker eleven years ago.
In 2012-13, over 1,400 workers were killed in the UK. Another 50,000 workers died of work related cancer, heart and lung disease. Over 100,000 are injured and millions more suffer ill-health each year. The human tragedy is bad enough but the financial implications are also immense with the health and safety executive (HSE) calculating that workplace injuries and ill health cost Britain £13.8 billion in 2010/11. (The most recent period for which full data are available)
|Copyright - Mark Harvey|
“That didn’t prevent David Cameron reducing safety precautions for apprentices or slashing the number of HSE inspectors. The Prime Minister claims to be cutting red tape but having strong rules and regulations, overseen by a unionised workforce, is preferable to the alternative which is bandages.”
Local Labour MP, Lindsay Hoyle, paid tribute to the organisers of the event and said: “the greatest tribute we can make to those who have died because of work is to reduce the numbers who do so in the future.”
The event was concluded with final words from the Reverend Tim Wilby, the laying of wreaths and a piper playing ‘Gresford’, the Miners’ Hymn.