SIPTU representatives have called for a renewed focus on all aspects of health and safety in workplaces following a commemorative event in the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1, to mark Workers’ Memorial Day today (Thursday, 28th April). The commemorative event was organised by ICTU, in cooperation with the Health and Safety Authority, and supported by the employers’ organisations Ibec and the Construction Industry Federation. Among those to address it where ICTU President Kevin Callinan, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English and Health and Safety Authority CEO, Sharon McGuinness. SIPTU Contract Services Sector Committee member and catering worker, Bernie Casey, said: “Events such as the one today are very important in showing a combined worker, employer and Government approach to emphasising the importance of workplace health and safety.  “Everyone became much more conscientious of health and safety procedures during the Covid-19 pandemic. As working life begins to return to a new normal it is of primary importance that a focus on ensuring the best health safety standards is maintained. Most work accidents are not just freak events, they more often than not occur because health and safety procedures have not be fully implemented by an employer.” She added: “The official figures for Ireland are 481 people were killed in work-related incidents over a ten-year period from 2012-2021. So far this year, seven people have been killed in work-related incidents. However, these recorded deaths are what we usually refer to as ‘work accidents’ and do not include the many more who have died from illnesses acquired at work. Apart from fatalities thousands more workers have been left with life-changing injuries.” ICTU Health and Safety Committee member and SIPTU Sector Organiser, Michelle Quinn, said: “Fundamentally no one should become sick in order to receive a paycheck. ICTU is supporting a campaign by the European Trade Union Confederation with a manifesto for zero deaths at work. It calls on European leaders to ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’ on saving the lives of working people.”