Workers’ Memorial Day “More Important Than Ever”
LONDON, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
An increase in the number of victims of industrial disease and workplace accidents has
underlined the importance of Workers’ Memorial Day, the annual international event which
honours those who have lost their lives through their work.
Speaking just days before the 2013 event on 28 April, Bridget Collier, head of the
Industrial Disease Claims [http://www.fentons.co.uk/industrial-disease-claims/2794 ]
department at Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors [http://www.fentons.co.uk ] LLP, said
there had been another year-on-year rise in the number of people contacting the specialist
lawyers after developing asbestos-related diseases or losing loved ones to accident or
illness as a result of their work.
“The message of Workers’ Memorial Day is very clear,” said Bridget (left), a partner
with the firm. “On Sunday, workers and their representatives around the world will come
together to commemorate their colleagues and demand further action to improve safety at
Bridget said the international event is hugely important in helping to raise awareness
of the still shocking number of workers who die each year as a result of an occupational
illness or accident in the workplace, and demand that improvements are made to curb the
number of injuries and loss of life.
“This is particularly relevant right now, with proposed legal changes under the
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill affecting how those injured in accidents at work
will be able to pursue compensation,” said Bridget. “Campaigners have long voiced their
concerns over the proposed changes, describing how they would stack the odds against
injured workers in their fight for justice. In a time when we are seeing an increase in
the number of people coming forward having either been diagnosed with a work-related
disease or losing a loved one through occupational illness or accident, it is more
important than ever to ensure we learn from our mistakes and remember the legacy of those
who have lost their lives.”
The day is often described as a “rallying cry to ‘mourn for the dead and fight for the
living’,” and is aimed at preventing others from losing their lives or their loved ones in
incidents which could and should have been prevented.
“Every year, thousands of people in the UK die from an illness or injury caused
directly by their work, simply because at some point their employer did not prioritise
ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their workers,” said Bridget.
“As well as being contacted by more claimants this year, we have seen an increase in
the number of calls from people who have only been exposed to asbestos relatively
recently. Because any asbestos-related disease can take several years to manifest, they
now face an uncertain future as they wait to see if they will go on to develop an illness
as a result of their exposure.
“It is vital that lessons are learned from every single unnecessary and avoidable
work-related death, to ensure that future generations do not keep repeating the same
mistakes we have made for the last century,” she said.
“By supporting Workers’ Memorial Day, we hope to highlight the need for continued
improvements to workplace safety, ensuring justice for those who have already lost their
lives or their loved ones through no fault of their own, and protecting current and future
workforce from suffering the same fates.”
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