Trades Council holds ceremony to honour all those who are killed in the workplace

Keighley News: Steven Allen died on a building site in 2007 Steven Allen died on a building site in 2007

Keighley people will gather later this month to remember those who have lost their lives in the workplace.

The town’s Trades Council is again leading commemorations locally for international Workers Memorial Day, on April 28.

At 11am a ceremony will take place at the main entrance to Cliffe Castle Museum.

A cherry tree was planted at the spot four years ago in memory of Keighley man Steven Allen, who died aged 23 on a Bradford building site in 2007, and others who have lost their lives at work.

Among those present will be students from nearby Holy Family School and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Keighley John Grogan, who will give a speech.

There will then be a walk to Town Hall Square where – at noon – a short service will take place organised by Mr Allen’s mother Judith in conjunction with Keighley Town Council, which gave permission for a memorial plaque to be erected there in 2011.

Dave Towers, for Keighley Trades Council, said: “Unfortunately Keighley has lost many workers in the workplace.

“Especially poignant in recent history have been the deaths of Steven Allen – whose mother’s fight for justice lasted five years – and Jeff Naylor, the last firefighter to die on duty in West Yorkshire.”

He felt health and safety was trivialised by the government and said that despite recent reforms, there had been no significant rise in custodial sentences for employers guilty of offences.

“The death of a loved one can never be considered trivial and over 80 per cent of all deaths in the workplace are caused by a lack of adequate health and safety – which is the duty of anyone’s employer,” added Mr Towers.

Mr Allen’s firm, Skipton-based JN Bentley Ltd, was fined over £100,000 in 2012 for “significant” health and safety failings although the company refused to acknowledge those failings led to his death.

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