The Trade Union Safety Team’s 22nd Annual International
THURSDAY 28th April 2011
11am to 1pm in the Arena, New Square at Chesterfield’s historic market.
· Trade Union Safety Team
· Trade Union speakers
· Trade Union banners
· Stalls for Health & Safety information
Come along to Chesterfield on Workers Memorial Day and don your free
“WE DIDN’T VOTE TO DIE AT WORK” T shirts given out at 11am on the day. Join in the photo shoot and help us to send a message to the ConDem government that we do not accept the cuts to health and safety at work.
2010 Workers Memorial Day
A coffin representing all those who have died in Derbyshire from work related illnesses or accidents was carried through Shirebrook.
The event was organised to mark the Internationally recognised ‘Workers Memorial Day’.
The Government, through their agency the Health and Safety Executive, give a very skewed and limited picture of the damage done by work every year. They say 180 people die in workplace incidents and 8,000 die from workplace cancers, but we believe the true figures are much higher and the overall picture much grimmer.
A more realistic estimate should include work-related road-traffic deaths, as well as suicides that can be attributed to work-related stress. If such tragic deaths are taken into account the figure would be around 1500-1600 work related deaths per year. But even these figures are the tip of the iceberg; if the many thousands who die from illnesses caused by their working conditions is taken into account the total could be as high as 50,000 a year!
Derbyshire was a heavy mining and industrial area. Many miners have lost their lives through working in the pit or as a result of the chronic diseases such as emphysema and pneumoconiosis. Local workers have also been exposed to the deadly material – asbestos which causes debilitating and terminal illnesses such as asbestosis and a rapidly fatal cancer – mesothelioma.
In 2009 the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST) helped and supported 26 former workers in Derbyshire suffering from mesothelioma.
TRUST believes the day is very important as it reminds us that thousands of local workers have lost their lives by merely going to work. Many of these deaths were preventable and these workers should not be forgotten.
The day also helps to raise awareness to the dangers of workplace hazards, such as asbestos. Many maintenance and construction workers are still at risk from exposure to asbestos. Moreover, many workers today are subjected to stress of working long hours or bullying in the workplace, particularly in today’s uncertain climate with constant redundancies and job losses.
The event which took place on Friday 30th April 2010 was well attended. The coffin was blessed by the Rev John Hargreaves and Reverend Harold Dobbin - Principal Chaplain Industrial Mission in Derbyshire. Passionate speakers from the Chesterfield and District Trade Union Council and various Trade Unions spoke about the difficult job of protecting their members and making health and safety a priority in all workplaces.
It has taken over a decade of TRUST organising Workers’ Memorial Day events and campaigning for a nationally recognised day.
Workers’ Memorial Day – A Decade of Campaigning.
2000 – Planted 3 trees around Derbyshire – Tapton Peace Gardens, Bolsover District Council and Arkwright town.
2001 – Laid a memorial wreath and plaque at the tree in the Peace Gardens
2002 - Launch of the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team
2003 – Church Service in Chesterfield Crooked Spire
2004- Church Service in Chesterfield Crooked Spire
2005– Industrial walk around Chesterfield, visiting factories that had left a deadly legacy of industrial disease.
2006 – Industrial Walk along Chesterfield Canal. Taking in the site of the Staveley Vinatex Plastic Chemical factory which was the focus of TRUST’s health research report in 2000.
2007 – Exhibition to highlight the number of work-related road accidents. In that year a worker of a local service provider had been killed on the roads following working long hours overnight.
2008 – Display to highlight the number of Construction Deaths, as well as floral tribute garden in North East Derbyshire
2009 – Development Worker – Shay Boyle painted a Workers’ Memorial Day picture depicting many of the industries that have left a legacy of industrial disease including the coal mines.
2010 – Tribute to the ‘Unknown Worker’. TRUST also revisited the memorial tree in the peace gardens and laid a wreath.