A minute’s silence will be held on Wednesday to pay tribute to people who got infected with Covid-19 in work and died as a result.
To mark International Workers’ Memorial Day public buildings, including the SSE Hydro and Edinburgh Castle, will be lit up purple and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and Scottish Hazards have written to councils to urge them to do the same.
Scottish Hazards chairman Scott Donohoe said ahead of the event that all health and safety laws should be devolved to Scotland due to what he described as “sustained ideological attacks on our health and safety regulations and our enforcement bodies”.
The minute’s silence, which is also intended to commemorate those who died from other work-related illnesses or injuries, will take place at 11am.
Roz Foyer, the general secretary of the STUC, said: “In the depths of current crisis, we must pay tribute to all the workers who have lost their lives through Covid infection but also to remember that workplace death, injury and disease is a daily occurrence.
“We must use the period ahead to make workplaces safer, to strengthen workers’ voices and collective power and to bring employer and government to account.”
Scott Donohoe, the chairman of Scottish Hazards, said the pandemic had exposed an “occupational health and safety crisis”, adding it “cannot, and should not, be allowed to be forgotten as restrictions are eased and workplaces begin to reopen”.
“This is not a return to normality, it is a return to workplaces that have to be Covid secure and where the fundamental right for workers to be kept safe at work is respected.
“Since 2010 sustained ideological attacks on our health and safety regulations and our enforcement bodies have left them ill-equipped to proactively enforce our fundamental rights and that is why Scottish Hazards is using Workers’ Memorial Day to call for health and safety and laws and enforcement to be devolved to Scotland and plans put in place to create a Scottish occupational health and safety agency.”