This week marked Workers’ Memorial Day which remembers those killed or seriously harmed at work and to raise awareness of the importance of work safety measures.
Safety at work is of a huge importance to everyone; from the family members of those unnecessarily harmed or killed at work, to employers who need healthy staff.
Workers Memorial Day will especially resonate with my constituents. It can be a time for us to remember the people who had arguably one of the most dangerous jobs there is; the Miners. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Miner’s strike and many will remember what the conditions were like.
On Workers Memorial Day, we need to take the opportunity to compel employers to look after their staff, to value human life and to not to neglect health and safety spending to cut costs for higher profits.
The TUC argue that at least 20,000 people die prematurely each year from work related illness. Furthermore, a recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report revealed that in 2012/13 alone 175,000 people were injured at work.
In the 21st century it is a shocking fact that, as the TUC report suggests, more people are killed at work every year than in wars.
Yet, even with this knowledge, the Tory-led Government has made cuts to health and safety spending. Describing health and safety regulation as a ‘burden’ the Government has pursued policies which are based on a ‘pro-business, anti regulation ideology’.
However, despite debilitating ideological Government policies, the majority of businesses I have been in contact with are very supportive of health and safety measures. They want to keep their staff safe, well and happy as they are more likely to stay on, decreasing staff turnover and recruitment costs. The majority would never want a member of staff hurt or unwell due to an inadequate working environment.
The Government’s position towards work safety is dangerous; they have cut health and safety funding by over 40%, demonstrating yet again that they know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
People should be able to trust the Government and employers to take the safety of individuals at work seriously.