Asbestos endangers more than two-thirds of workers

30th April 2015

New research conducted to mark Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28) has found that more than two-thirds of employees have to work in potentially hazardous conditions.

A study by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) aimed to discover how many people working in the UK could be at risk from dangers including asbestos and radiation. Of the 500 people surveyed, 71 per cent were found to be exposed to, or at risk from, health-harming substances, huffingtonpost.co.uk reports.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, has confirmed that for many of the respondents the risks are present on a daily basis, and yet every single one of the cases could be prevented.

“Many of these substances could be removed from the workplace or their use reduced – but where this is not possible, workers need much better protection. That means stronger regulation, and, more importantly, proper enforcement,” O’Grady said.

Workers’ Memorial Day is an annual event intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”, tuc.org.uk notes. It aims to call out those employers who “decided their [employees’] safety just wasn’t that important a priority”.

Events were held across the UK on Tuesday, including a wreath laying at the Building Worker statue at the Tower of London.