TUC launches H&S campaign as Leeds remembers people injured at work


The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has launched a campaign against changes to health & safety legislation, saying people will be at greater risk of being injured at work.

Union branches were encouraged to bring banners to a Workers' Memorial Day event at Armley Industrial Museum, Leeds, on Friday 27 April.

The event gave West Yorkshire workers and trades unions a chance to commemorate people killed or injured at work. It is seen as part of a campaign in support of the UK's health & safety (H&S) laws, which the Congress says is under government threat.

Workers Memorial Day – Leeds

Ministers claim that current legislation inhibits business and represents "unnecessary red tape". However, with Britain's health & safety at work regulations reduced by 50% and workplace H&S inspections by one third, the TUC says the risks to workers can only increase.

The launch of the TUC campaign follows news of a Wakefield rail worker left permanently disabled after what his employers called an "avoidable" injury at work.

Darren Skelton was hurt as he was shifting toilet waste pipes and had part of his thumb removed due to infection.

The injury left Mr Skelton, 41, with substantially reduced sensation and restricted movement. He was forced to sign off work for 3 months and was placed on light duties for another 3 months after his return.

In an out-of-court settlement, Mr Skelton received compensation of £7,500. Experts said the accident need not have happened if Mr Skelton had worn safety gloves.

In 2011, Workers' Memorial Day was marked by the planting of a tree in the museum's grounds. This year a wreath will be laid, in a ceremony to be addressed by Bill Adams, the TUC's Yorkshire and Humber region secretary. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chief secretary to the treasury and Leeds West MP, will also be speaking.

TUC Workers Memorial Day – Leeds – Simpson Millar

Simpson Millar LLP supported the event in Leeds and the launch of the TUC campaign.

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