Memorial day remembers Morecambe worker

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TRIBUTES will be paid to a Morecambe worker and nine other men and women who have died at work in Lancashire during a special ceremony to mark Workers Memorial Day later this month.

Union organisers are also asking local people to nominate the “forgotten Lancashire victims” of work-related deaths for a special mention at the ceremony.

The ten who died in the last year include three men who fell from heights in separate incidents while at work in Lancashire; a 32-year-old man who was trapped when a trench collapsed on a construction site in Morecambe; a 45-year-old man who died after he was hit by a reversing vehicle and a 51-year-old man who was killed after coming into contact with machinery, both in Preston; and a 26-year-old man who was crushed by machinery in Wyre.

Special mention will also be made of the 84-year-old woman who died and the 88 people injured in the Grayrigg crash in Cumbria for which Network Rail was fined £4million last week.

They will be remembered at the memorial event, organised by local trade unions, at Preston Flag Market on Saturday, April 28, which will be followed by wreath-laying at the Corn Exchange.

Organiser Janet Newsham said: “These are the ten deaths at work in Lancashire recorded by the Health and Safety Executive for 2010-2011.

“They exclude most road deaths, although many people died at work on our roads; off-shore deaths, including air or sea incidents and those people serving in the armed forces; as well as those who died at work from heart attacks and strokes.

“The death toll at work is enormous – and many go largely unreported. That’s why we are asking people to also nominate the ‘forgotten victims’ of Lancashire.”

North West TUC Regional Secretary Alan Manning said: “Workers Memorial Day remembers those who have paid with their lives and their health for their work.

“The death toll in Lancashire gives the lie to the tabloid myths about ‘health and safety’. These are real people, who are real victims.

“Workers’ Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety.

“Over 12, 000 deaths each year are also estimated to have been caused by past exposure at work - primarily exposure to chemicals and dusts.

“But this is a massive underestimate of the actual work-related deaths which are up to 50,0000, including asbestos-related diseases. That’s why our slogan for the day is ‘Remember the dead – Fight for the living’.”