Remember those killed at work

Edwin Jeffries
Edwin Jeffries

UNION leaders have released details of a memorial service to remember people killed at work.

The Workers Memorial Day, which has been held at Hartlepool’s Tourist Information Centre and Art Gallery every year since 1999, sees bereaved family members, council officials and trade union representatives lay wreaths in honour of those who have lost their lives in the work place.

This year the memorial day service will be held on Thursday, April 28, at 12.30pm, and the laying of the wreaths will follow at the Workers Memorial in Church Square, Hartlepool.

Guests will include Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, Hilary Sadler from Macmillan Cancer Support and Samantha Hemsley, a partner at Thompsons Solicitors.

Leader of the council, councillor Carl Richardson will also be at the ceremony along with Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, other civic leaders and trade union members.

A lone Scottish piper will be playing in Church Square ahead of the ceremony, which will see Mr Wright give a reading prior to the wreath laying ceremony.

Edwin Jeffries, joint branch secretary of UNISON Hartlepool, said: “This day is in memory of those workers that have lost their lives as a result of an accident in the work place.

“They are not remembered publicly on any other day and this is a major day in the trade union calendar, and the employers calendar.

“It is about working in partnership and reducing the number of people that are killed, or injured, in the work place, and to reduce the impact on the families.”

The plans were endorsed by Labour councillor Jonathan Brash, Hartlepool Borough Council’s portfolio holder for performance.

Coun Brash: “I have absolutely no problems in approving all of the recommendations and committing the local authority to every piece of support we can possibly give to this event.

“It often gets a bad name, but the reality is that health and safety saves lives and that must be of paramount importance.”

Ahead of the memorial service there will be a health and safety training seminar held at the Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, centred around health in the work place.