Building workers lost at work
The thousands of building workers who have lost their lives at work.
Researching one of these terrible events reminded us that we have found other memorials to people who died in 'accidents' at work. We don't like the word 'accident', since it suggests that nothing could have been done to prevent the death and that is seldom true. We've put together a list of these memorials to deaths at work (many but not all, building workers). To keep it manageable we have excluded: those serving in the emergency services, those killed in terrorist attacks or by war-time bombs, and those killed in rail crashes or on the road.
1853 - ten workmen killed at the Sydenham Crystal Palace construction site.
1877 - six crew members killed during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle to London.
1895 - four men killed at the sewage pumping works, East Ham (Postman's Park).
1899 - one man killed in a boiler explosion at a Battersea sugar refinery (Postman's Park).
1899 - one stewardess drowned (Postman's Park).
1901 - three workmen poisoned by gas at a Stratford distillery ((Postman's Park).
1912 - about 900 crew members lost on the Titanic.
1969 - one demolition worker killed in the Dudgeon's Wharf explosion.
1975 - two engineers killed trying to rescue a third who also died, at Watneys' Mortlake Brewery. (not yet published).
1979 - four men involved in the design of Burgess Park killed in an air crash near Biggin Hill (not certain this was work-related).
2000 - three men killed in a construction crane at Canary Wharf. (not yet published).
The death toll at each of the events recorded on plaques in Postman's Park may be higher, but the plaques do not mention deaths of any except those attempting rescue.
In 2006 the statue to the thousands of building workers who have lost their lives at work was raised.