Unite Legal Services highlights the vital work of safety reps this International Workers’ Memorial Day

The 28th April is International Workers’ Memorial Day.  

This is the day when workers come together and remember those who have been killed and injured at work. The slogan for the day is “remember the dead – fight for the living”. 

Sadly, it is all too likely that you may know someone who has died at work, has been injured in the workplace or is suffering from an occupational disease.

Unite Legal Services is highlighting the message that an organised workplace is a safe workplace, while also recognising the vital work of Unite safety reps in ensuring that their fellow workers are safe at work.

It has been found that workplaces that have union safety reps and a safety committee have half the major injury rate of companies that don’t have these structures.

Safety reps play an enormously positive role in society. In 2016, research found that safety reps in the UK saved between £219 million to £725 million by reducing lost time caused by injuries and illness.

The role of union safety reps is increasingly vital. Continued government attacks on safety laws, safety regulations and huge cuts to the funding of the Health and Safety Executive mean that unions and their safety reps are increasingly in the frontline of workplace safety. If unions aren’t keeping their workplaces safe then it is unlikely that anyone else will.

Unite has fought hard to secure safe workplaces, and with strong organised workplaces we can ensure that such incidents and tragedies do not happen again.