Remembering victims of 20,000 workplace deaths

ALARMING STATISTICS ... Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham speaks at the Workers' Memorial Day Service at South Shields Town Hall.
ALARMING STATISTICS ... Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham speaks at the Workers' Memorial Day Service at South Shields Town Hall.

A SPECIAL service was held in South Tyneside to remember people around the world who have been killed or made unwell by their work.

A Workers’ Memorial Day service took place at South Shields Town Hall yesterday – aimed at highlighting the action that can be taken to avoid accidents in the workplace.

This day is an opportunity to pay our respects to all those around the world who have lost their lives or been injured as a result of their work.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, attended the event.

She said: “It is an alarming statistic that more than 20,000 die every year because of their work.

“This day is an opportunity to pay our respects to all those around the world who have lost their lives or been injured as a result of their work.

“It is also an opportunity to remind people about the needless loss of life and highlight the importance of safety at work.”

Trevor Burden, of Fox Avenue, South Shields, the father of Jason, who was killed in December 2011, while he worked at South Docks, in Sunderland, was also invited to a memorial event organised by Hartlepool Joint Trades Union Committee (HTUC).

The promising 19-year-old marine engineer with Tyne Slipway and Engineering suffered fatal chest injuries when a 970kg tunnel thruster from a ship overturned and landed on top of him.

Mr Burden spoke during the event – which had the theme of “Remember The Dead, Fight For the Living” – and also laid a wreath in memory of his son.

Karen McDonnell, occupational safety and health policy adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Workers’ Memorial Day is a significant day in the occupational calendar in which the thousands of people who have lost their lives in workplace accidents or suffered serious injury or ill-health are commemorated.

“It is also a chance for people to make a stand against such tragedies and help prevent further needless accidents and deaths.”

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