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Workers Memorial Day provides focus for improving safety for UK workers
1:00pm Wednesday 2nd May 2012 in News
THE Health and Safety Executive’s latest figures show 25 fatal workplace accidents happened during 2010-11, with thousands more dying from industrial illness such as asbestos related mesothelioma.
Pauline Chapman, of Altrincham, of died of the cancer last year aged 68. Her family, along with others remembered victims on Workers Memorial Day held on April 28.
She came into contact with asbestos after leaving school at 16 and working at Turner Brothers factory, Trafford Park, as a secretary.
Pauline’s daughter, Dr Laura Chapman, a palliative care consultant said: “My mother had worried for years about her asbestos exposure.”
She had to walk through the dusty factory and warehouse, where asbestos materials were made, to get to the canteen at lunchtime and breaks.
Laura added: “Whenever we saw something about asbestos in the news, she always brought up the fact she had worked at the factory.
“When the diagnosis was given to her it confirmed her worst fears.”
A leading lawyer in workplace illness called for more action to be taken to improve safety standards and for businesses to stop putting lives at risk.
Geraldine Coombs, from Irwin Mitchells Manchester office, said: “They did not lose their loved ones through blameless accidents – these are deaths that could have been avoided if employers had not taken chances with safety at work.”
Laura said: “Nothing can bring my mother back but I hope things can be improved so that others do not have to suffer the pain of losing a family member as we have done.”