From Telegraph & Argus, April 28th, 2018
Written by Chris Young
SERVICES to remember those who have died at work were held in Bradford and Keighley today. The district was marking International Workers Memorial Day. In Bradford a small crowd of people gathered in the memorial garden in Norfolk Gardens, while in Keighley a crowd including Keighley and Ilkley MP John Grogan paid their respects in Town Hall Gardens. The Health and Safety Executive says 137 people died in the workplace in the UK last year, although the number is thought to be much higher when taking into account workplace related illnesses.
At the Keighley event, members of the public stood shoulder-to-shoulder with councillors, trade unionists and invited guests for the moving event.
There were speeches, a reading from the New Testament, prayers and a quiet moment of reflection.
The ceremony was organised by Keighley Trades Union Council (TUC), with the town council.
Keith Dredge, of Keighley TUC, said: ""Health and safety is often seen as a joke but in my opinion it's vital.
"When you leave in the morning for work, you expect to come home in the evening in one piece. We are here to remember that."
He referred to Steven Allen, a construction worker from Keighley who died in 2007 after being horrifically injured at a site in Bradford. He was 23.
Keighley MP John Grogan spoke about the legacy of Jeff Naylor, the last firefighter in West Yorkshire to lose his life in service.
He died following a house fire in Keighley 35 years ago.
The Bradford event was organised by the Bradford Occupational Health Project and Bradford Trades Union Council. There was a minute's silence at noon, followed by a speech by Carol Durden from the Trade Union Council. She said it was a day when "unions, employees, safety campaigners and employers come together to remember the dead and fight for the living.
"No-one should ever die just for going to work. People across the world die each year just because employers don't comply with the law. and governments let them get away with it."
At the end of the speech, those in attendance chanted "enough is enough."
At the event John Appleyard, a retired officer of the GBM union, said one major issues facing workers was the impact of asbestos. He said: "It is disgusting to have so many people still dying of this. Not just manual workers, but teachers and women who used to wash their husbands clothes and were exposed to asbestos that way."
He added: "I am from Batley and Spen, and my MP was killed doing her job, so I really welcome this day."