Photographers challenged to look beyond so-called ‘red tape’ this Workers’ Memorial Day

A campaigning law firm has marked International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017 by launching a national photography competition to highlight, and defend, the vital protections which allow workers to return home safely at the end of each day. 

Thompsons Solicitors’ “Focus: on safety at work” competition – which comes with the chance to win a share of £5,000 and feature in an exhibition at the People’s History Museum – challenges budding photographers to capture in an image why health and safety is so important in the workplace.

Participants will be asked to submit photos that illustrate why health and safety should not be considered a burden or “red tape”, but an essential protection for all. 

The competition launch coincides with International Worker’s Memorial Day, a day which commemorates workers who have lost their lives as a result of dangerous working conditions, and draws attention to harmful practices in workplaces across the world. 

“Critics like to dismiss health and safety as ‘red tape’, but it’s this so-called ‘red tape’ which is usually just planning and common sense that helps to make our workplaces safe and ensures that employees return home to their families at the end of the working day,” said Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors. 

“With a General Election going on and Brexit on the horizon, the basic building blocks that ensure a safe place of work are under threat as never before. As accident at work specialists, whether it’s the hazard of a trailing cable in an office, asbestos exposure in a store room or a truck reversing without thought, we see the  impact on individuals and their families when health and safety slips off the agenda. 

“Thompsons is launching this competition, and later, an exhibition, to show what health and safety really means and how important it is day to day. We want budding photographers from across the UK to use their cameras and creativity to show why health and safety is not a burden, but something every worker deserves.” 

The competition will run until 28 June, after which a panel of judges will decide the winners. Entrants should seek to capture an image which explores one or more of the following themes:

–       what ‘health and safety’ means to me;

–       why I think ‘health and safety’ is important;

–       why ‘health and safety’ is neither a burden, nor “red tape”

–       why I think ‘health and safety’ should be protected. 

Photographs should be submitted at winners of the competition will be awarded a share of £5,000, and have their artwork displayed at an exhibition in the People’s History Museum in Manchester. No participant should put themselves at risk of injury, prosecution or other detriment in pursuit of an entry. The full terms and conditions can be found at