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RoSPA Recognises Tragedies at Work

Posted on Apr 29 2010
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Yesterday was the first officially recognised Workers’ Memorial Day in the UK. To mark the day, which provides an opportunity for those who have lost friends or family members at work to remember them, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) created a new website.

Last year in the UK 180 people were killed in accidents at work and 800 more died in work-related driving accidents. Memorials listed on the website, at, include photographs, paintings and poems. Listings include details of permanent memorials, such as for victims of the Flixborough chemical plant disaster, which killed 28 people in June 1974, as well as temporary memorials, such as photographs of empty shoes to commemorate people who died whilst driving.

First recognised in Canada in 1984, Workers’ Memorial Day gained official status in the UK following a Government consultation in July 2009. It coincides with the anniversary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the US.

According to Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser at RoSPA, the price of workplace disaster is enormous, costing the economy £1.5 mn a year. ‘Yet money is irrelevant when placed next to the heart-breaking pain of personal tragedy,’ he told the RoSPA website. ‘That's why the case for maintaining sensible measures to control health and safety risks is so important and mustn't be undermined by silly stories that suggest 'elf 'n' safety' has gone mad.’

Workers’ Memorial Day takes place on 28 April each year. Memorials can be listed by contacting Sheila Pantry at

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Last changed: Apr 29 2010 at 10:42 AM


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