Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

April 25, 2007 10:09 ET

Amicus demands action over increase in workplace deaths

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 25, 2007) - To mark Workers Memorial Day (Saturday 28th April) Amicus is demanding action in the prevention of workplace fatalities as the death toll from work related accidents in the UK rises to a staggering 1,500 people a year.

Amicus believes that the vast majority of workplace deaths are preventable and is calling on employers to comply with health and safety legislation. But when workplace deaths do occur Amicus wants to see corporate criminal conduct investigated, and where evidence shows there has been negligence, prosecution with a punishment fitting the crime. At present this is not the case as companies escape criminal accountability.

Currently low fines also mean disreputable employers do not take health and safety seriously, as it's cheaper to pay a fine than put in safety measures.

Amicus' General Secretary, Derek Simpson, said: "Too many workers have already died simply because they went to work. If we are to avert this tragic waste of life, paying lip service to the governments' revitalising health and safety strategy is simply not enough.

"Workers Memorial Day is not only an opportunity to remember those we lost but also to ensure that we do all we can to prevent workers dying as a result of their work.

"Amicus has been campaigning for legislation on corporate manslaughter to make employers accountable for the health and safety of their employees. Most workplace deaths are avoidable and poor health and safety is the cause."

Rob Miguel, Amicus Health and Safety Officer, said: "Amicus would like to see more corporate responsibility in light of all these deaths. At present the scales of justice are unevenly balanced with failures in corporate responsibility weighing heavily against real accountability.

"The result is that bereaved families are left feeling frustrated and let down by the system. A staggering further 10,000 lives are lost to work related diseases a year, including cancers and those connected to asbestos, this rises to two million world wide."

Amicus Workers Memorial Day resources and events can be found on http://www.amicustheunion.org/wmd.
Hard copies of Amicus WMD materials and posters can be obtained from Regional Offices.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Health and Safety Officer
    Rob Miguel
    07900 804911
    or
    Amicus press office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761.