EMPLOYEES who have died or been injured in the workplace were remembered during a poignant service.
Around 150 people attended an event to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day at Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Church Square, yesterday.
Guest speakers included Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Gillian Muir from Thompsons Solicitors and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool Borough Council chief executive Dave Stubbs and Cath Purdy, chief executive of Vela Group, were also in attendance.
The council’s own choir, HBC Sing, also performed during the ceremony.
Edwin Jeffries, president of Hartlepool Trades Union Congress (TUC), who helped to organise the event, said: “It was a very emotional and poignant event.
“There were 35 wreaths laid by organisations, individuals and bereaved family members. There was also a number of flowers laid by members of the public.
“173 lives were reported lost in the workplace in the UK last year and that doesn’t include through industrial workplaces or road traffic accidents, which takes the figure to around 20,000 in the UK alone.”
Mr Jeffries said this raises questions about health and safety in the workplace and called for improvements.