Seventy years on, the impact of the Burngrange mining disaster on the Livingston community provided an opportunity to reflect on health and safety in our mining industry, here in Great Britain and the wider world: the voices of those silenced on the January 10, 1947, heard again as their story was shared at Westminster.
The recent debate, secured by constituency MP Hannah Bardell, provided a chance to reflect on the disaster while exploring the benefits of partnership working and sharing success between key stakeholders in the industry.
Public perception may be that we no longer have a mining industry, yet around 4,000 people remain employed in this sector, across approximately 118 working sites including 21 licensed underground coal mines, which the HSE recognises as hazardous environments with the possibility of fire, flood, explosion and collapse, with the potential to simultaneously affect a large number of people.
As recently as 2011, an inrush of water from old mine workings resulted in four miners tragically losing their lives.
As we move towards Workers’ Memorial Day, I’d like to ask everyone take time to find out if there is a memorial anywhere near you, and make time to reflect. Through reflection we can learn how to move forward, without forgetting the lessons learned from our past mistakes.
No more names in tablets of stone – accidents and cases of work-related ill health don’t have to happen.
Dr Karen McDonnell, occupational safety and health policy adviser
Posted: 4/20/2017 11:21:26 AM