Dear Editor, In 2007/08 229 workers died in accidents in British workplaces. 18 of these were employed in the West Midlands. Thousands more die from occupational diseases, like mesothelioma or cancers, and in workplace road accidents. Internationally, 335,000 workers die every year as a direct result of their work.
These terrible figures tell us that health and safety at work is not just the preserve of ‘experts’ like me. It’s something everyone has to engage with and understand. Achieving good health and safety is a team effort, and if one member of the team underperforms it can have dire consequences for many others.
Today, 28 April, is International Workers Memorial Day. It’s an opportunity to remember those whose lives have been needlessly cut short at work.
But as well as remembering those who’ve died, it asks all of us to reflect on what we do at work.
So I urge everyone in the West Midlands to take a few minutes to think about your work on this day, and identify hazards to yourself and others so that we can make the workplace safer for everyone. Doing this might just help ensure you and your colleagues go home safe and healthy at the end of the working day, which is surely the goal of all good employers and employees.
IOSH, The Grange
Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leics.