A minute’s silence will be observed for victims of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

On International Workers’ Memorial Day - on Tuesday, April 28 - TUC South West and its 48 affiliated unions are remembering all working people who have died as a result of health and safety failings at work.

This year’s focus will be on workers who have died with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 as a result of inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), said a union spokesman.

The unions federation will mark their deaths by a one minute’s silence at 11am on Tuesday, and is inviting everyone to get involved, wherever they are in the region.

Nigel Costley, TUC South West regional secretary, said: “Every year we honour workers from around the world whose deaths could have been avoided.

“On Tuesday, we want to honour all the workers who have died as a result of Covid-19 and especially those who have died because of lack of PPE and inadequate social distancing measures at work.

“From care workers looking after our elderly relatives to NHS staff and other frontline emergency workers, from retail workers feeding the nation to transport and delivery workers distributing essential supplies, to school teachers, and so many more.

“Day in, day out, these everyday heroes are putting their lives on the line.

“Yet far too many are dying as a result of woefully poor PPE, or in some appalling cases, absolutely none provided,” he added.

“Unions have been working flat-out with employers to ensure key workers are protected. Most workplaces have stepped up and done the right thing.

“But their efforts have been hampered by government’s slow response to getting protective equipment, especially to key workers. And it’s becoming clear there have been too many missed opportunities to get supplies to the front lines.

“These failures are having devastating consequences as the number of lives lost by workers goes up.

“This simple act of silence will be a small but significant way for all of us to honour those who have died, and add further respect to the hundreds of thousands of workers who continue to look after us during these unprecedented times.”