There are a range of events today across Scotland to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day. On this day we remember the Scottish workers who have died in the past year as a result of industrial injury or disease. 26 people lost their lives as a result of workplace accidents last year with a further 8910 suffering major injuries. In addition there are workers who have been killed in work related road traffic accidents, as a result of occupational diseases or in incidents investigated by other agencies that do not appear in these figures.
This is the first year the day has been formally recognised by the UK government and that is reflected in a statement by the Prime Minister and the attendance of Scottish Government ministers at events.
UNISON believes that it is a basic human right that a worker and their families should be safe in the knowledge that they will return unharmed after a day at work. For that reason we believe that stronger health and safety laws and effective enforcement are essential. We do not support the argument that this is ‘red tape’ to be downgraded to self regulation.