UNISON has over 7,000 safety activists across the UK who are committed to making our workplaces safer. We know things would be far worse without them. Workplaces with union safety reps are twice as safe.
Each year on 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) is marked around the world to Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living. We remember those killed, made ill, or injured by their own or someone else’s work. Their pain and suffering and that of their families deserves should not to be forgotten. We also renew our commitment to, and demand once more, safe and healthy work for all.
Using the UK government’s own figures, every year at least 20,000 die from injuries and illness related to their job, however UNISON believes that this is an under-estimate, and that the truer figure is closer to 50,000.
However, the government continues to attack the protection we all receive from good health and safety practice. So called “low-risk” workplaces will no longer receive unannounced health and safety inspections. However the government’s own figures suggest that of those killed whilst at work, over half are in so called ‘low-risk’ workplaces”. This doesn’t include the thousands more who die from diseases caused or made worse by work, or those who suffer years of pain and disability caused by stress, violence, and other work related injuries and illnesses.
With health and safety inspectors deliberately undermined by government cuts and unable to stop bad employers breaking the law, the work that union safety reps do is all the more important.
- Oxfordshire branch health and safety reps
- Find out more about Heath and Safety on the national Unison website