Three people went to work and never returned home to their families in our region in the last year.

Following International Workers Memorial Day last Friday (April 28) the names of three people who died at work in the last year, since April 2022, have been revealed.

They are among 1,100 people who have died at work across the country over the last eight years.

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In October 2022 55-year-old construction worker Mark Briggs died in Stockton when he was struck by a moving vehicle.

Self-employed roofer Edward O’Donnell was 74 when he died on November 25 after falling from a height in Sunderland.

And John Paul Fryer, a 58-year-old manufacturing employee, died when he was struck by an object in Stockton on November 30 last year.

They have been named by the Health and Safety Executive who release details of workplace fatalities.

The previous year (2021/22) 123 people were killed in work-related incidents.

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However, the figures from the Health and Safety Executive – known as Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations - were questioned by unions, who said deaths from certain sectors were not included, as well as from work-related illnesses such as asbestos exposure.

Daniel Shears, national health and safety officer at GMB, said: “Whilst almost all work-related fatalities in the scope of RIDDOR will be reported, by definition this excludes deaths at sea, deaths airside in aviation, all work-related road traffic fatalities, and work-related suicides.”

Shelly Asquith, health and safety lead at the TUC, said: “Now is not the time for complacency. Too many people are dying from avoidable workplace accidents and illnesses.”

Ms Asquith also called on the Government to provide “proper investment in health and safety enforcement”.

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“The HSE has had more than half its budget cut in the last 10 years,” she added.

An HSE spokesperson said: “Nobody should die at work. Every loss of life is a tragedy, and we are committed to making workplaces safer and securing justice as part of our mission to protect people and places.

“Many different authorities can investigate and prosecute using the Health and Safety at Work Act. The cases we lead are investigated robustly.”