Dame Judith Hackitt’s building report is not enough to halt the race to the bottom

17.5.18 Immediate use Hazards Campaign Statement on Hackitt Report

Building a Safer Future- Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety – Dame Judith Hackitt’s report is not enough to halt the race to the bottom in terms of health and safety.

We needed a report that would state clearly ‘enough is enough’ in terms of the deregulation that led to Grenfell, an end to deadly business-led attacks on safety laws and cuts to enforcement. We also needed a report that would honour those killed and ensure such a fire could never happen again so that everyone, including the most vulnerable and poorest are also protected especially in their own homes.

Hackitt calls for ‘simpler and more effective’ new regulatory framework. What can be simpler or clearer than ‘No Hazard: No risk’? Banning all combustible building materials must be part of any new regulatory system if it is to be effective and safe

We agree with Judith Hackitt that the system of Building Regulations is broken. But this is just a symptom of the whole broken system of hard won regulations and enforcement of all aspects of health, safety and welfare set up to protect us at work, in the environment, using products, services, and at home, in our beds, as at Grenfell.

This system no longer works, as it has been systematically destroyed by waves of ‘deregulation’, ‘better regulation’ presided over by governments over past 40 years but especially turbo charged since 2010, and that led to the ‘Race to The Bottom’ which Judith Hackitt describes in her report, and of which as Chair of the HSE she was part of driving.

Deregulation was driven by a change in culture that included David Cameron as Prime Minister vowing to ‘kill off health and safety culture’, deriding it as an ‘albatross’ or ‘millstone round the necks of business’ and talking of a ‘bonfire of red tape’, using the lie that good health and safety is a ‘burden on business’ to slash laws but more importantly to draw the teeth of health and safety watchdogs by massive cuts in funding and changing the nature of enforcement by commercialisation, privatisation, outsourcing and making business financial interests come before lives and health. The inferno at Grenfell Tower was the real life ‘ bonfire of red tape/regulations’ Cameron and Tory/Lib Dems demanded but it has not been the ‘enough is enough’ moment for deregulation that it should have been.

There are some good points in Hackitt’s report but she fails to correctly identify or analyse the effects of ‘Deregulation’ on building and other safety, and how the deadly culture that led to Grenfell was enabled and driven by the state and enforcing authorities and it is not at all clear that her recommendations can drive a change of culture in the industry of putting safety first. As the Chair of HSE, Hackitt presided over the slashing on inspection, changing the nature of enforcement, and helping to develop the very culture that led to Grenfell. Since she left HSE she works with the Engineering Employers Federation which represents key actors in this industry.

Judith Hackitt makes clear the need for simplification and clarity in building regulation, but then she fails to take the most obvious step which would provide absolute clarity, and some restoration of trust in the protective system of regulation for high rise buildings, in refusing to ban combustible building materials.

She calls for more regulation and enforcement and stronger penalties to hold duty holders accountable through a structure called the Joint Competent Authority. The devil will be in the detail, and we will examine the whole report carefully, but it is not clear how this Tory government with its fetish for deregulation and putting business interests first and foremost before our lives and health would fund, resource or provide the required political will, for a strong regulatory system with sufficient powers to hold the whole construction industry and individual duty holders to account.

For more information

  •  Hilda Palmer 0161 636 7557 mobile 07929 800 240

Notes

 

Hazards Campaign: 28 April International Workers Memorial Day briefing

28 April International Workers Memorial Day #IWMD18

Remember the Dead Fight for the Living – Fighting for our lives in Unions

A large body of evidence shows that Unionised Workplaces are Safer Workplaces .

Through workers organising together in unions they can fight for safer, healthier and decent work for all.  Collective action and elected safety reps create the proven ‘Union Safety Effect’  making workplaces twice as safe.1   In 2018 we are celebrating 40 years of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations, SRSCR, which give elected union safety reps the powers and functions to hold employers to account, challenge them and work with them to make work safe and healthier.

Under the SRSCR, Safety Reps have the right to as much paid time to do their job as  necessary  – not facility time. Their role includes carrying out inspections and surveys; talking to members, mapping the workplace;  investigating incidents;  making  reports, and representations to management; being consulted in good time about anything that affects health and safety-chemicals, stress, jobs design, work   changes, pay, shifts, staffing  levels -to be involved in risk assessments, represent members and act collectively to make the workplaces better for all workers.   It works:

Safety reps save lives, save health and save money. Unions make workplaces twice as safe as non organised workplaces 

Hazards Campaigner Tommy Harte brought International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) to the UK in the 1990s from  Canada and USA,  with two aims: to “Remember the Dead” and to  “Fight for the Living. The Hazards Campaign promotes and resources IWMD  which is now commemorated in hundreds of events across the UK from Aberdeen to Penzance.  We focus on both aims by holding events or memorials to remember all those killed through work and at the same time to campaign against the causes of these preventable tragedies to stop workers being killed in future.  International Workers Memorial Day, IWMD, is now commemorated throughout the world, in thousands of events involving millions of people and is recognised by dozens of countries including the UK Government in 2009.  The #IWMD18  theme agreed by ITUC  and Trade Unions internationally is:

Unionised Workplaces are Safer Workplaces No-one should ever die just for going to work . Millions do every year, not in freak accidents or of rare illnesses, but because employers did not comply with the law, and governments let them get away with it Almost ALL workplace death, injury and illness is PREVENTABLE

In GB, Health and Safety Executive, HSE, annual figures of 137 deaths at work in 2016/17 only covers those reported to HSE and Local Authorities. It excludes members of the public killed in work incidents, workers killed on roads, at sea, in air and by work-suicide. The figure also excludes those dying because of bad work conditions from cancers, heart, lung and other diseases. Using expert research, the Hazards Campaign estimates a more realistic figure for those killed in work-related incidents is 1,477 and those dying of work illnesses as 50,000 per year.

That is around 140 people dying from work per day or one person every 10 minutes in GB.

The UN ILO estimates 2.78 million people worldwide dying from work every year up from 2.3 million in 2014.  One person killed by work every 11 seconds worldwide.

 Safety Reps saving lives at work for 40 years!   This year we celebrate the birth of the TUC, established at the   Mechanics Institute at a meeting called by Salford and Manchester Trades Union Councils 150 years ago, as well as the 40th anniversary of the Safety Representatives and Safety C/te Regulations, one of the most important laws for workers’ lives and health but one that has been almost totally unenforced.

Workers began organising in Trade Unions 150—200 years ago, to improve health and safety in their own workplaces and through political action to win wider legal changes and protections. By educating agitating and organising and acting collectively, unions gained a shorter working day, more time off work, reduction in exposure to chemicals, dangerous machinery, an end to child labour and exploitation, and won stronger social protection laws and stricter enforcement, as well as fighting for higher wages.

It’s not about asking for improvements but having the collective voice and industrial  power to demand them.

Union action also led to the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974 and the Safety Representatives and Safety C/te Regulations in 1977 which enabled unions and safety reps to be even more effective in cutting the death rate in work incidents and making a major impact on work-related illnesses.   Everyone should come home safe and well after their shift. But we still have too many workplaces that kill, injure and make workers very sick, often to death .  Injuries and death at work may have fallen but problems including work cancers, insecurity and the despair of work stress related to low pay,   insecurity, overwork and a lack of respect are rocketing  and  “only informed collective action will really make  work better”

 The TUC has collected Safety Rep success stories 6  which add to the massive body of evidence shows that union organisation and safety reps do make work safer, save lives, save health,  and save money for employers and the economy—up to £700 million per year   proving that good health and safety is not a burden on  business, or a job killer but a positive contribution to our human rights. Poor health and safety costs, on Hazards estimates, between £30 and 60 billion per year.

 Sharan Burrow ITUC: “Health is a human right and does not stop at the factory gates. Our strategy will use all the trade union instruments – namely, representation, negotiation and action – for the organization for decent, safe and healthy work”

Despite all of this evidence, since 2010 government has attacked health and safety law and enforcement as ‘red tape’, employers ride rough shod over laws and fail to comply,  and the Trade Union Act makes  it harder for unions to protect and defend workers health. A big cut in funding enforcement led to far fewer preventative inspections and enforcement actions on non-compliant, criminal employers, so  increasingly  it is down to Safety Reps!

Hugh Robertson, TUC says ” It is clear that we need trade unions more than ever before. The case has been proven that safety reps are good for workers, good for the economy and good for business….The only people who fear us are employers who want to cut corners and take risks with our lives.  Good employers are already working with unions, we need the rest to start recognising the benefits and we need the government to stop attacking unions and instead do more to ensure that employers are consulting with union so that everyone can get the benefits unions bring”  

Use #IWMD to fight for our lives and join together in unions to make work safer !

Hazards Campaign c/o GMHC. Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandre Road, Manchester, M16 7WD                                                        info@hazardscampaign.org.uk      @hazardscampaign

UNION Workplaces are Safer & Healthier #IWMD18 Wear a purple forget-me-knot ribbon Put a sticker in your car TAKE ACTION on 28 April #IWMD18

In GB there are around 1,500 deaths from incidents and 50,000 from work illnesses, over 621,000 injuries and millions made ill by work every year. Almost all work deaths, injuries and illness are due to employers’ mismanagement. Inequality and discrimination at work mean that the most vulnerable workers—the poorest, women, young, ethnic minority, migrant, LBGT and non unionised workers— are at more risk of being made ill, injured or killed by work.

What you can do on #iwmd18 Big Up Unions! Use the Resources to shout loud and proud that UNIONS MAKE WORK SAFER and take action to strengthen your union organisation or create a union at work.

  • Find out what is happening in your area on 28 April, see TUC list of events email details or your event to healthandsafety@tuc.org.uk & own union
  • If nothing is happening then get together with workmates and organise – a commemorative rally, a minutes silence; a workplace inspection, a meeting to discuss health and safety and celebrate the positive impact of unions and Safety Reps @40 , use the Safety Rep Box to discuss what you can do
  • Ask your local council, or any other public body, to fly official flags at half-mast on the day. Remember that the day is officially recognised by the UK government;
  • Arrange an event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place, putting up a plaque, dedicating a sculpture, a piece of art, or a bench, to remember workers who have been killed at the workplace or in the community;
  • Workers’ Memorial Day is on 28 April, consider how you can best use local media both before & on the day.
  • If you are planning any event for the day, or you want to raise awareness: distribute and wear purple ‘forget-me-not’ ribbons, put up posters, and remember to let people know about anything that happens in your area on the day. Order resources: http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/iwmd18resources.pdf
  • Send ecard to Prime Minister demanding end to attacks on laws that protect our lives & health because as Grenfell fire & all work deaths show: ‘Red Tape is better than bloody bandages’:
  • Tweet about your workplace union health and safety successes use internationally unifying hashtag #IWMD18 and check it for new resources and retweet.

#IWMD18 Resources  and Information   

Purple Ribbons the symbol of the day; Union Workplaces are Safer Workplaces Car Stickers, High Vis jackets & FREE posters

Hazards Magazine Articles on Safety Reps@40:   ‘It’s down to you’   ‘What’s your best face’  Safety Reps Rights  Box

TUC  Safety Reps@40  

https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/28_april_2018_en.pdf

Sharan Burrows ITUC: Unions are organising for safer, healthier, decent work  @SharanBurrow. @ITUC

TUC list of events

GMHC IWMD Background Leaflet:

The Whole Story: Our estimates of the real toll of deaths and illnesses caused by work which are far greater than HSE publishes or press/media report

FILMS

Louise Taggart’s blog about her brother Michael who went to work & was killed by employer’s negligence-

Carol Harte’s film of  Tommy Harte  bringing  IWMD to the UK

GMHC International Workers’ Memorial Day

UNITE The Safety of the Vulnerable Worker

UNISON Problems in the Care Sector

Thompson’s Solicitors: Industrial injury, compensation, the Government and the Law

ASLEF Rail Safety

BFAWU Fighting for justice

#IWMD2014: Deregulatory Daleks tied up in red tape!   Hazards Magazine:

Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK    work with families of those killed by work: BellyflopTV

See also Facebook: Families Against Corporate Killers

FACKers tell their stories:  ‘Face the FACKs: the Human Face of Corporate Killing’

Face the FACKs  Part 1       Face the FACKs Part  2

Face the FACKs Part  3      Face the FACKs Part 4

TV coverage Cameron Minshull        Cameron  Killed

Hazards Campaign c/o GMHC, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandre Road, Manchester, M16 7WD                                                         info@hazardscampaign.org.uk @hazardscampaign
Face Book: We Didn’t Vote to Die at Work

UK: FACK Statement – International Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April 2018 #IWMD18

FACK Statement – International Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April 2018 #IWMD18

“I don’t know where to begin.  So I’ll start by saying I refuse to forget you.  I refuse to be silenced.  I refuse to neglect you.”

These words are “for every last soul” who perished at Grenfell, and are spoken by Stormzy at the start of the Artists for Grenfell single.  They could just as easily have been spoken by FACK families.

We will never forget our lost loved ones and ask that you don’t either.  Instead, in their memories, devote your energies to fighting for the living.

We continue to refuse to be silenced.  Instead we use our voices to increase a chorus of disapproval aimed at seeking an end to this era of de-regulation, in which health and safety protections have been undermined and preventative enforcement has been slashed. 1

We want the chorus of disapproval to reach a crescendo.

Because each and every day here in the UK a lack of good health and safety continues to lead to the deaths of 140 people in work-related incidents or because of work-related illness.  The equivalent of 2 Grenfell towers…daily.  2

Let that sink in for a moment.

Opening and closing with the vision of the charred tower block, the music video which accompanies the Grenfell single can’t fail to touch hearts.

And all too often, it is music which evokes memories to tear at a FACK family’s heart, just as a line from the Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work” does for Samuel Adams’ mum: “But I know I will see your face again”.  Sam was 6-yrs-old when he went for a family day out to the Trafford Shopping Centre and his face was only to continue to be seen in photos and preciously held memories.

Frankie Miller singing “Let me tell you that I love you, that I think about you all time” transports 26-yr-old Michael Adamson’s family and friends back to the devastation of the walk from the crematorium.

Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad is the one guaranteed to reduce Andrew Hutin’s parents to tears, the one that raised the roof of the chapel at the funeral of a young man who had only recently turned 20 when a tidal wave of molten metal exploded from a blast furnace.

How do you begin to choose the songs for your 18 year old son’s funeral?  FACK families’ intention is that you never have to.  But Mick and Bet Murphy did, guided by those that were among Lewis’ favourites at the time of his death.  A song called “Crossroads” taking on particular poignancy, containing lyrics such as: “Hey, can somebody anybody tell me why we die, we die? I don’t wanna die. Ohhh so wrong.”

Fundamentally wrong that these young men were taken from their families, denied the opportunity to live their lives.  And why?  Because still far too often health and safety is wrongly seen as a burden, red tape, a tiresome impediment to getting a job done, or a costly barrier to making a profit.

There are those whose praises FACK families sing.  Among them:

  • The firefighters whose emotions overwhelmed them on being clapped and cheered by the local community at Grenfell – that community knowing they had done all they could, and more, to save lives.
  • Those who have had the courage to speak out about perils faced by themselves and their colleagues, finding themselves blacklisted as a result.
  • Those who work in our Hazards Centres – in Manchester, London and Glasgow – seeking to prevent work-related harm, committed to improving workplace health and safety.
  • And trade unions safety reps whose life-saving work often goes unnoticed, but whose work needs to be celebrated and built upon. Because, let’s be clear: a union workplace is a safer workplace.

These are the people who prevent injury, illness and death; who prevent suffering and the consequent need for a soundtrack to tears.  They are the ones with whom we must ensure chords are struck.

Because, yes, perhaps a song brings into firm focus a happy moment caught in time…running bare foot from a tent at a bike rally in Edinburgh on hearing Born Slippy by Underworld, Graham and Karen to be the only ones dancing and grinning in the rain.

But Natalie, Dionne, Sharon…they are among those who’d “love, love, love to dance with their fathers again”, who are destined to do so only in dreams.

The dreams and the plans that had been hatched by Linzi and Herbie during long nights spent listening to The Rock from The Who’s Quadrophenia, were not to become reality.

Instead, in the aftermath, songs that filled the void “at the dimming of the day” bring into dark focus the utter desolation.

Just what would Dorothy and Douglas give to hear Mark belting out again: “I gotta take a little time…In case I need it when I’m older”.  He wasn’t to get any older than the age of 37.

Another of his favourites was “I want to live forever”.

We know that no-one lives forever.  But, work should be life-changing in a positive way.  It should never ever be life-ending.

So we intend to continue to build a legacy for our loved ones, that will live on forever through improved protections that keep your family members safe and healthy

FACK facilitator Hilda Palmer has quite rightly described Grenfell as an “Enough is Enough” moment.  And the death of each of our loved ones was our own personal enough is enough moment.

Let us repeat: lack of good health and safety leads to loss of life equivalent to two Grenfell towers each and every day in this country.

Enough is surely enough!    By Louise Taggart Founder FACK member, sister of Michael Adamson.

References:

Hazards Campaign Briefing for #IWMD18

Michael’s Story: Louise Taggart’s blog about her brother Michael who went to work and was killed by employer’s negligence. Video

We Love Red Tape

The Whole Story about work-related death :

FACK was established in July 2006, by and for families of people killed by the gross negligence of business employers, see www.fack.org.uk .

Founder Members of FACK:

Dawn and Paul Adams son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre,10th October 1998

Linzi Herbertsonhusband Andrew Herbertson 29, killed at work in January 1998

Mike and Lynne Hutin son Andrew Hutin 20, killed at work on 8th Nov 2001

Mick & Bet Murphyson Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work on 21st February 2004

Louise Taggart brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work on 4th August 2005

Linda Whelanson Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work on 23rd May 2002

Dorothy & Douglas Wrightson Mark Wright 37, killed at work on 13th April 2005

For more information and to support FACK, contact Hilda Palmer, Facilitator for FACK: Tel 0161 636 7557

c/o Hazards Campaign, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD Tel 0161 636 7557
mail@gmhazards.org.uk  www.fack.org.uk

Air pollution: a trade union issue – free courses in Birmingham and Southampton

Hazards Campaign and the Greener Jobs Alliance have organised two additional regional training sessions on air pollution in Birmingham and Southampton.

Workers are exposed to and create pollution to fulfill contractual
obligations to employers. It is an occupational health issue that
employers take little responsibility for.

The course will help you:

• Examine why air pollution is both a workplace issue and a public
health one
• Find out about air pollution busting Citizen Science techniques
• Create action plans to deal with workplace exposures
• Create action plans to meaningfully engage in
air pollution with local councils
• Share experience, knowledge and ideas

Although both courses are  free of charge, registration is necessary.

Further information and registration
Janet Newsham
Hazards Campaign
janet@gmhazards.org.uk
0161 636 7558

Southern Region at the UNITE offices in Southampton on Friday May 11th, 2018 from 1.00 – 4.00 pm more info

Midlands Region at the UCU Offices in Birmingham on Friday June 8th, 2018 from 1.00 – 4.00 pm more info

Hazards conference 2018: Booking form

The booking form  for the Hazards 2018 conference can be  downloaded here.

Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists. It consists of a mixture of plenary sessions, meetings and a comprehensive workshop programme. Delegates have the opportunity to exchange experience and information with, and learn from, safety reps and activists from other unions, sectors and jobs across the UK. It’s great craic too!

Safety Reps @ 40: Vital to the Future of Safe and Healthy Work!
27th to 29th July 2018,  Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Unions can help make this event an even bigger success by joining our sponsorship program.

Fast food workers’ safety leaflet

What are the health, safety and welfare issues that workers at fast food premises  and drive-thrus face? What can we do to support these workers in challenging their unsafe and unhealthy working conditions?

Hazards Campaign and food industry union BFAWU has produced a leaflet to answer these questions.

Hazards Campaign resources Workers’ Memorial Day – order now

Hazards Campaign has produced a set of useful resources for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018 (#iwmd18) – download the order form here.

You can order commemorative purple ribbons, posters, car-stickers and high-vis waistcoats. These resources are ideal for your 28 April event, notice board, union office, workplace, ceremony or to simply hand out on the day.

Follow these links for details of Workers’ Memorial Day activities in the UK and worldwide.

Posters

This year’s posters

Past year’s posters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car sticker

 

 

High- vis waistcoat

Ribbons

FACK comment on the accidental death conclusion by jury at the inquest into the death of Cyran Justin Stewart

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK)  news release 24 January 2018 – no embargo

Accidental Death conclusion by jury at  the inquest into the death of Cyran Justin Stewart, fatally injured at work on  24.2.14, died on 28.2.14

Cyran Stewart was fatally injured at a Walkabout pub in Swansea on 24th February 2014. He was crushed in a lift while transporting furniture, was rescued after 30 minutes but died of his injuries four days later in hospital.  The inquest heard evidence that other members of staff had been trapped but not injured in the lift in similar ways when transporting furniture and the safety gate mechanism over ridden before Cyran was killed, but these were not reported to the health and safety consultants or head office.  Intertain CEO gave evidence that he was shocked and they knew nothing of these incidents or lift problems when moving furniture.

The jury delivered a conclusion of accidental death.

Cyran Stewart’s mother Elizabeth Galbraith said in her statement after the Inquest Conclusion:

“I feel totally disillusioned by the Inquest System. It took 4 years to get this far and I had to sit in that Inquest and hear witness after witness have the statements they made 4 years ago discredited because they could not now remember facts without referring to their statement.

“My son Cyran did not die in a freak accident that could not be foreseen or prevented, but in an incident similar to several others that had previously occurred and about which I believe management and supervisors were aware. We heard evidence that the Walkabout management team failed to report numerous incidents involving staff being stuck in the lift to Perry Scott Nash, their Health and Safety consultants.  I believe they knew what was going on but did not report it or take any action.  Had they done so, I believe that action could have been taken to prevent my son from being in that situation in the first place and prevented his death.

“Following the death of my son, that action has now been taken.  It will prevent further deaths but it will never bring Cyran back.

“Those responsible for Cyran’s health and safety while he was at work, but who failed to protect him can now go home and carry on with their lives.   I cannot, my life has been totally destroyed and the closeness of my family has been pulled apart.

“My son died as innocent as the day he was born, I will never see him get married or have children, I have been denied that pleasure.”

Hilda Palmer FACK spokesperson said: “ No-one should ever die just for going to work which is why we have health and safety laws to protect workers which include assessing risks, developing safe systems of work, instructing, training and supervising workers to make sure they follow these safe systems properly, reporting incidents, injuries and near misses, so as to take preventative action.  Cyran was not killed in a freak, unforeseeable and unpreventable accident.  According to evidence at the inquest he died after several other ‘near miss’ incidents where workers and supervisors were also trapped in the lift and had to be rescued.  Appropriate reports of these dangerous incidents were not made, the health and safety consultants and CEO were apparently unaware, and so preventative action was not taken – until after Cyran was killed.

Yet again we hear of a case where something has gone wrong, a worker is killed and his family devastated, forever.  Workers should not die before lessons are learnt. The legal duty is clear and we call on all employers everywhere to face up to, and review, your health and safety management and take urgent action to stop your work from killing or hurting anyone.  The Inquest is only concerned with who died, when, where and how, and any other matters are for the health and safety investigation to consider.  For Cyran’s mother we hope now for a swift decision on a  prosecution of those responsible for protecting Cyran’s safety at work.”

See the full statement by Elizabeth Galbraith below

For more information contact Hilda Palmer FACK 0161 636 7557 mobile 079298 00240

Elizabeth Galbraith, mother of Cyran Stewart, mobile number on request

FACK was set up in 2006 by families of those killed at work to support other families, to get as much justice and possible and to campaign to stop workplace deaths. .

Founder Members of FACK:

Dawn and Paul Adams son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre, 10th October 1998

Linzi Herbertsonhusband Andrew Herbertson 29, killed at work in Oldham, January 1998

Mike and Lynne Hutin son Andrew Hutin 20, killed at work at Corus, Port Talbot on 8th Nov 2001

Mick & Bet Murphyson Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work in Brighton on 21st February 2004

Louise Taggart brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work ion Aberdeen, on 4th August 2005

Linda Whelanson Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work in Bolton on 23rd May 2002

Dorothy & Douglas Wrightson Mark Wright 37, killed at work in Deeside on 13th April 2005

At the end of the Inquest into the death of Cyran Justin  Stewart

PRESS STATEMENT by Elizabeth Galbraith,  Mother of Cyran Justin  Stewart

Background

Early hours on 24th Feb 2014 I received a phone call from Cyran’s very distraught brother and also from South Wales Police, informing me that Cyran was in a critical state as he had been stuck in a lift, had to be resuscitated twice and that I had to attend Morrison hospital Swansea urgently.

It was the longest journey of my life as at that time I lived in Telford Shropshire, and was breaking my heart wondering if I would be able to get there in time, wondering if I would see my baby alive again.

When I got to the hospital, I was rushed to ICU where Cyran was on a life support machine and heavily sedated fighting for his life.  His 3 older brothers Kelfyn, Gavin & Jason were also there.  Our lives had been shattered and I could not understand or believe that my baby was in this state.

For four days and night our hopes were raised and shattered once more. We had to watch his body die and on the morning of 28th February the consultant gathered us all together and the decision was taken from me.  His life support machine was switched off, and waiting for him to die tore me apart.  He died at 13.05.  I kissed his lips and I knew I could never tell him again how much I loved him, or see his wonderful eyes or see his smiling face ever again.

Tribute to Cyran

Cyran was a very intelligent young man.  He was born in Germany and loved to support Bayern Munich. In time I believe he would have spent his life in Germany as he always wanted to return at some point.

His father abandoned him at the age of 4. Cyran sought to have a father figure but that was not to be and so I was mum, dad, everything I could possibly be and used to take him on many holidays and encourage a normal lifestyle.

When the Olympic Games were on it was guaranteed that I would return home and find a track imprinted in the grass, pan lids and broom handles in the garden replicating the discus and javelin events that he had watched on TV.  It kept him fit and amused.

He had a high IQ and was considered gifted and talented at school but if he did not want to do something he would not. He loved animals and wanted to be a vet at some point but changed his mind and went to Bradford University to do a degree in Computer Science.

He spent the majority of his time in Shifnal with his mates from School playing football, especially his best pal Nick as he would stay up till all hours on the x box and play on online games communicating with others and listening to music.

He never failed to attend school provided transport was organised.  He was very good at maths and many other topics and he kept very neat books with excellent marks, which was the opposite of his bedroom.

After only completing 2 years at university he was not happy and wanted to come home and be close to his mates. I asked his brother to find him permanent work at Walkabout as I did not want him to become idle, never for one moment thinking it would result in his death.

The Inquest

I feel totally disillusioned by the Inquest System. It took 4 years to get this far and I had to sit in that Inquest and hear witness after witness have the statements they made 4 years ago discredited because they could not now remember facts without referring to their statement.

My son Cyran did not die in a freak accident that could not be foreseen or prevented, but in an incident similar to several others that had previously occurred and about which I believe management and supervisors were aware. We heard evidence that the Walkabout management team failed to report numerous incidents involving staff being stuck in the lift to Perry Scott Nash, their Health and Safety consultants.  I believe they knew what was going on but did not report it or take any action.  Had they done so, I believe that action could have been taken to prevent my son from being in that situation in the first place and prevented his death.

Following the death of my son, that action has now been taken.  It will prevent further deaths but it will never bring Cyran back.

Those responsible for Cyran’s health and safety while he was at work, but who failed to protect him can now go home and carry on with their lives.   I cannot, my life has been totally destroyed and the closeness of my family has been pulled apart.

My son died as innocent as the day he was born, I will never see him get married or have children, I have been denied that pleasure.

Hazards conference 2018 – sponsorship appeal

We are grateful for the generous support for Hazards 2017 by our sponsors in Unions nationally, regionally, at branches, trades councils, individuals, and union-linked personal injury solicitors.

We hope this vital support will continue for Hazards 2018.

Feedback was excellent from 350 safety reps and activists, around half of whom were new delegates, from all types of workplaces, all unions, and from all over the UK, coming  together to discuss  ‘Organising health, safety and welfare in an insecure world’.

Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists from all different sectors, trade unions, organisations and workplaces.  Delegates have a unique opportunity to prioritise and concentrate on health and safety concerns and talk to national and international health and safety campaigners, activists and trade unionists.

At Hazards 2017 we were privileged to have Jessica Martinez speaking.  Jessica is the director of US COSH, which is facing major challenges because of the deregulatory agenda of the Trump regime and the cut to funding to their organisation.  In addition there have been a number of huge hurricanes which have not only cost lives but absolutely devastated local communities and environments and caused major occupation safety catastrophes. Dan Shears, GMB National Health, Safety and Environment Director gave an overview of how UK occupational health and safety will be affected by Brexit.

The conference is an opportunity to hear from workers and organisers involved in industrial action about current health, safety and welfare issues.  The ‘Better than zero’ organiser Bryan Simpson spoke passionately about their inspirational campaigning work and  Barry Faulkner on the Sports Direct action.  Paul Maloney the author of ‘The Therapy Industry’, addressed a session on individual therapy vs collective action. Helen Lynn from Alliance for Cancer Prevention and Susan Murray from Unite spoke at a meeting on ‘Towards zero work-related cancer’. There were various campaign meetings: on asbestos, workplace welfare, international solidarity, dangers of dogs, and FACK. There were also legal updates given by different solicitors on various health and safety issues and speakers from Unison, Prospect and Usdaw. There was a choice of eighteen workshops, and many first time representatives that were able to gain new knowledge and skills to take back to their workplaces.  We try to ensure there are several new workshops each year.

Tracey Seward (FACK) and her brother Mick Lancaster spoke emotionally about the devastating impact of the death of her husband Mark on their family and daughter Daisy. Finally we launched the Hazards Campaign e-postcards ‘We love red tape, it’s better than bloody bandages’ campaign, against deregulation.  www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/postcards   A full report of the conference can be found at www.hazardscampaign.org.uk

Please find a copy of all the organisations that sponsored the conference this year, on the reverse of this appealThe sponsorship is extremely important as it means that we can keep down the price of the conference to individuals and union branches.  Please consider our appeal positively.

BACS payments are available or cheques made payable to Hazards 2018, and sent to: Hazards 2018, GMHC, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester, M16 7WD.  Telephone: 0161 636 7558, Email: hazconf@gmhazards.org.uk

Thank you in advance for your support.

Hazards conference 2018 sponsorship appeal – PDF

Tories Out march, Sunday 1st October, Manchester: Hazards Campaign bloc and banner

Join the  Hazards Campaign in Manchester on Sunday 1st October where we will be marching behind our new banner at the Tories Out march at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester.

Join us to tell the Government : “We love red tape – it’s better than bloody bandages”

We  invite you to join us and to dress up in bloodied (fake blood or similar) bandages – there should be lots of Halloween costumes available in the shops if you don’t feel creative).

If you are lucky you may even get a  photo with Janet in her bandages… for the price of a postcard!

We are organising a table for the beginning of the march to encourage people to sign postcards – telling the Government : “We love red tape it’s better than bloody bandages” and “enough is enough.”

Meeting place  If possible we will our table up near to the Museum of Science and Industry end of Liverpool Road. If we can’t do that please ring one of the numbers below and keep an eye on @hazardscampaign and @jnewsham

Order of the day  We aim to set up our table  at about 10.00.  Speeches start at 11.30 at Castlefield Arena. The demo forms up on Liverpool Rd at 13.30  leaving at 14.00 with closing speeches at Piccadilly Gardens at 15.45 – 16.30.

Best wishes,

Janet Newsham – Hazards Campaign/GMHC

Janet Newsham 07734 317158
Hilda Palmer 07929 800240