Asbestos safety to feature in memorial service

20th April 2016

Asbestos and the battle for safe working conditions will play a central role at Clydebank’s annual gathering for International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Set to be held this Saturday (23rd April 2016), this year’s event will reinforce the message that asbestos-related fatal illness isn’t a historic malaise consigned to the history books – at least not while people are still suffering.

International Workers’ Memorial Day began in Canada and was officially recognised on these shores in 2010. Since then, events have taken place across the UK to remember those who lost their lives at work, including those who died from asbestos-related conditions some years or even decades after employment.

Hard-hitting speeches are to be given under the shadow of Clydebank’s memorial plinth, which commemorates those from around the world who have died from asbestos-related illnesses and was unveiled a year ago. Subjects to be covered include a greater need for negligent employers to be held more to account and for safety to be put at the forefront of all employment issues.

Speakers will include Clydebank Asbestos Group chairman Bob Dickie, National Union of Journalists organiser Paul Holleran and council environment chief Mike Thomson.

Hope Robertson, who lost her husband to mesothelioma, told “The frightening thing is that people are being diagnosed younger than before, and the idea that it is all gone and in the past is wrong.

“It’s not all about asbestos either. People need to continue to campaign for safety in every aspect of work. The bottom line is that nobody should have to go to work wondering if they’ll be going back home later. Particularly with schemes involving young people, there’s a need to ensure safety standards are strongly upheld.”