70% of workplace accidents are due to poor management of health and safety. This means deaths at work are avoidable. But the alarming cuts in public spending which all the main parties have been proposing can only result in more danger for people at work.
At a time when business and other vested interests are campaigning for proper health and safety laws to be replaced by deregulation, with companies being allowed to carry out their own health & safety audits, trade unions need to ensure that these hard-fought for rights are not eroded when employers campaign against red tape.
Health & safety rules and regulations are an essential protection from employers who would put profit above the safety of their staff and the public.
For us in Edinburgh, the defence of those protections takes centre stage as essential public services are potentially being handed out to private companies who exist first for profit with everything else second.
We welcome the official recognition of International Workers Memorial Day by the UK Government.
Formal recognition reinforces the significance of the Day and raises awareness of the number of people who are killed, disabled, injured or made ill through their work.
But we know that recognition will only be of value if it results in greater awareness of the unacceptable levels of deaths at work, of work-related injuries and illnesses - and in practical action to combat these.
Remembering the dead but fighting with renewed strength for the living.