When Yvette Cooper MP, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions produced, out of the blue, a consultation suggesting that there should be a bank holiday for people who died at work on the internationally recognised Workers Memorial Day, there was a crucial issue missing.
Having examined the Health and Safety Executive's latest figures for fatalities at work (180 in 07/08) and discounting the fact that 66 were members of the public (that is, they died at a workplace but not whilst they were working at their workplace) its calculated that 110 fatalities were male and 4 female. Without going through figures again (may go boss-eyed), that makes the figures 95-96% male or in laymen's terms for every 20 workplace fatalities, 19 are men and 1 is a women.
Without wanting to be paranoid, why did the Secretary of State not mention the gender breakdown. I ma sure she would have done if it was the other way around.
Also it brings into question again all the nonsense about the gender pay gap. Part of the reason why men earn more money (not more when doing the same jobs as a woman) is because they carry out more dangerous work. Nearly all of the deaths are related to work in agriculture, manufacturing or construction where men predominate. Because of the dangerous work these men do, there is a premium vis a vis their salaries which needs to be taken into account on any debate on the gender pay gap. You never hear the Equalities Commission, Harriet Harman and the Fawcett Society talk about that or putting that into context.
Media Coverage - Google News (the general consensus was negative especially as if there was another bank holiday, it should rightly be on Armistice Day)