Date: Friday 25 April
A change in culture to health and safety could save over 20
lives per year, says UNISON Scotland
UNISON is marking Workers Memorial Day, which takes place all
over the world on 28 April, by calling on UK and Scottish governments
to do more to make work place deaths and injuries completely unacceptable.
UNISON cite the change in attitudes to smoking or drink driving
as examples of how we can change attitudes to work placed injury
If we could get that culture change then fewer workers would
be put at risk and their families would not suffer the emotional
and financial impact that follows.
Scott Donohoe, chair of UNISON health and safety committee said,
“We need a change in culture in how we see health and safety
at work. It’s too easy for politicians of all parties to
reduce red tape. We need to remind them that red tape includes
health and safety regulations which save lives. In 2013, 22 deaths
and 1800 major injuries could have been avoided in Scottish workplaces
if, so called, red tape was followed properly.
The cuts mean workers are being asked to do more and we are seeing
more psycho-social problems and stress related illness. If we
roll back on red tape now, at first we may not notice any difference,
but it will lead to increasingly dangerous and unhealthy workplaces.”
UNISON Scotland will be marking International Workers Memorial
Day at the STUC remembrance ceremony at 12pm on 28 April, at The
Peoples Palace, in Glasgow.
Notes to editors
UNISON Scotland is the largest trade union in Scotland
International Workers Memorial Day is a world event which takes
place on 28 April every year. More information can be found here
STUC events for International Workers Memorial Day taking place
across Scotland. More details can be found here http://www.stuc.org.uk/campaigns-and-external-events/international-workers-memorial-day
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that 70% of
deaths are dues to poor management.
The latest information from Health and Safety Executive, for Scotland,
can be seen here http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/regions/scotland.pdf
The headlines from the Health and Safety in Scotland report show
that in 2012/13
· Fatal injuries: there were 22 fatal injuries to workers.
· Major injuries: there were 1,843 major injuries to employees.
· Over sevenday injuries: there were 4,853 over seven
day injuries to employees.
· Injury rates: the rate of injury for fatal and major
injuries was 83.4 per 100 000 employees, compared with a GB rate
of 78.9. The rate of injury for over seven day injuries was 218.2
per 100 000 employees, compared with a GB rate of 233.1.
The number of HSE inspections of UK workplaces has fallen by
50% the last 10 years, with 35% of the amount being cut from the
Health & Safety Executive’s budget over three years
8. More information on UNISON’s campaign is here http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/safety/wmd.html