Category Archives: Blog

Hazards Campaign open letter to Commander Stuart Cundy in charge of the Grenfell fire investigation

Metropolitan Police Headquarters, New Scotland Yard,  8-10 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BG.

Hazards Campaign open letter to Commander Stuart Cundy in charge of the Grenfell fire investigation

Dear Commander Cundy,

The police investigation must investigate the Prime Ministers and ministers whose behaviour, actions and wilful disregard of warnings about the deadly consequences of their deregulation fetish that lead to decisions which caused the Grenfell fire.

We are pleased to hear you confirm that the starting point for your investigation into the Grenfell Tower investigation is ‘80 deaths by manslaughter.’  It is clear now that the overall model of regulation and enforcement of fire safety in buildings lies within a wider political context of government deregulatory initiatives that have undermined criminal health and safety law over a long period, and specifically accelerated since 2010.  Therefore we seek assurance that your investigation will look not only at all those individuals, companies and organisations directly involved in Grenfell Tower, but will examine the wider and crucial role of the ministers and their advisers on the deregulation of all types of health and safety law, enforcement and scrutiny, which form the environment in which the decisions that led to the Grenfell disaster took place.  This is a disaster which was foretold, that should never have happened and would not have done if the regulation and enforcement framework had been properly functioning to protect lives rather than serve business interests first.

Your investigation must seek to establish responsibility and culpability for this terrible tragedy that has taken many lives and damaged many more.  It seems clear that Prime Ministers’ setting deregulatory agendas in their manifestos, their speeches and their government programmes, plus Ministers carrying out those programmes, plus those specifically responsible for Housing and Fire Safety must be interviewed under caution.  Ministers who promised but failed to review the Building Regulations after the Laknal fire and failed to act after repeated warnings of potential disaster from fire experts and many letters from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue,  about the use of materials in high rise buildings without adequate safe guards in all aspects of their use, from specification, to installation to subsequent building, fire approvals and inspections, must be investigated.

We specifically seek assurance that this would include interviewing under caution ex Prime Minster David Cameron who repeatedly and vociferously ‘waged war’ on health and safety as ‘a monster’, ‘an albatross’, a ‘burden on business’ and which he vowed in his new year’s resolution of 2012 to ‘Kill off health and safety culture for good’   David Cameron set the ‘lite-touch’ political context in which regulations were viewed and policed.  Slashing the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, budget by a massive 33% in 2011 set the tone for the neutering of official policing of safety standards by the coalition government  . He established a programme of biased health and safety reviews, ‘Red Tape’ cuts, scrapping laws and dumbing down of guidance, plus slashing the budgets,  and restricting the enforcement activities of the HSE and the Local Authorities, while establishing business-oriented committees, advisory groups and programmes under the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda.

Others who must be interviewed under caution should include Prime Minister Theresa May who reaffirmed this deregulatory policy in 2016 and 2017, as ‘Cutting Red Tape’. and all ministers responsible for decisions on cutting health and safety in favour of reducing burdens on business, including, but not exclusively, ministers at the DWP, the DCLG, and those responsible for the Red Tape Challenge since 2010, those in charge of negotiating Brexit, plus any others who have made government sanctioned attacks on health and safety regulation and enforcement.  Of particular note is Oliver Letwin chairing a meeting under Brexit and the Red Tape Challenge on the deregulation of health and safety law for construction materials on the very day of the Grenfell Fire.

You are reported as stating that the criminal investigation would bring whoever is to blame to justice: “You can’t listen to the accounts of the survivors, the families, and those that lost loved ones, and listen to the 999 calls, like our investigation has done, and not want to hold people to account for a fire that should not have happened.”  We are pleased to hear this and insist that to honour this commitment, and to prevent other disasters, requires investigating and holding to account all those responsible for creating the deregulated health and safety environment including David Cameron and Theresa May and their ministers that have championed this model of corporate and governmental institutional neglect.

We will be pleased to provide more information on health and safety deregulation to your investigation team

Yours sincerely

Hilda Palmer, Acting Chair Hazards Campaign

‘Good work’ review, should be entitled ‘Damned Work’!

Responding to the ‘Taylor Review’ Employment Practices in the Modern Economy published today the Hazards Campaign says its conclusions are “deluded and misleading at best. “

Janet Newsham of the Hazards Campaign says that “Conclusions contained in the Taylor review of modern working practices published today, called ‘Good Work’(1), are deluded and misleading at best and are conspiring with the so called ‘gig’ employers at worst. The document continues to sanction unscrupulous employers, exploiting and harming their work force in whatever form they have chosen to employ them.”

The report suggests seven steps towards fair and decent work and talks about a national strategy for work explicitly directed toward the goal of good work for all. It says that this should include basic principles of a ‘fair balance of rights and responsibilities with a ‘baseline of protection’.

Janet Newsham observes: “Surely that is what employment law and contract law is all about? It would however have been more positive to provide employment rights from day one of employment and to make sure that all workers have decent employment rights as detailed for ‘employees’.

“The report suggests that ‘technological change’ can ‘offer new opportunities’, but this seems to be only in the interests of employers. It does not cover the way new technology is subjecting workers to ‘micromanagement’ and unfair scrutiny, surveillance and control and how it is being used to speed up processes to unacceptable levels of work and denying them basic welfare rights, such as toilet breaks and lunch breaks.

The Hazards Campaign asks what is stopping employers providing flexibility with workers now?

“We believe that these employers want a one sided flexibility. Employers already have the ability to employ people on permanent contracts, with negotiated hours with flexibility and self-management of their work. These so called gig employers, are devoid of employment decency and mutual respect. They want regimented control to maximise their profit at everyone’s expense other than their own.

“Ridiculously, the report says it is not ‘national regulation but responsible corporate governance’ that is needed. If this was the case, then this report would not have been produced. It is because workers are being exploited at every turn that regulation is vital.

“Finally, the Hazards Campaign would agree that the ‘shape and content of work and individual health and well-being are strongly related’. We need employers to stop killing, injuring and making workers ill. Workers are being ‘damned’ to bad working practices, low paid precarious work without any opportunity to progress or improve their pay, and conditions at work (including health, safety and welfare). Vulnerable workers cannot challenge bad safety, unhealthy, unfair or discriminatory working practices for fear of their work being terminated. They are powerless and treated with contempt.”

“Every year 50,000 plus workers die in the UK because of their work (2). We need employers to take their health and safety  responsibilities seriously by assessing the risks and eliminating and controlling them. We don’t need more words about proactive workplace health, we need all those in influential positions to reinforce the importance of health, safety and welfare excellence in our workplaces and for employers to act on it. ”

More Information: Janet Newsham Tel: 0161 636 7557 or mobile: 07734 317158

Note for Editors:
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices
2. http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hazards-Campaign-challenging-the-HSE-statistics.pdf

FACK Statement on the suicide of George Cheese

FACK Statement on the suicide of George Arthur Cheese, apprentice at Audi Dealership, Reading

The Coroner Peter Bedford has concluded that Audi Reading management were not responsible for the death of apprentice George Cheese. 1

Stressing that there were other factors in play, Peter Bedford said he understood Cheese’s parents’ desire to blame the Audi dealership, but added that steps taken by the management following his death had succeeded in improving conditions there.

Families Against Corporate Killers has taken up this case as it highlights yet again the completely inadequate way in which work-related suicides are handled by the criminal justice system, and especially those relating to bullying of young people.  We were not present at the Inquest and did not hear the evidence the Coroner took into account in making his conclusion.   But whatever other factors were ‘in play’ in his death, the appalling bullying George suffered at work, as reported at the Inquest, must be addressed and those responsible held to account.  This verdict only lets employers off the hook.

We are concerned that there does not seem to have been an investigation under the Joint Protocol on Work-Related Death;  there may be no-one held to account for the bullying George suffered at his workplace, which as  reported at the Inquest was known about and allowed to continue by management.  We do not feel that steps taken by his employer after George took his own life in any way absolve them of their actions.  The catalogue of bullying abuse George faced is heartbreaking and includes:

“His parents said George  “over the moon” when he got the position at the Audi dealership, but he soon  started coming home covered in bruises and had holes burned into his clothes

“George Cheese’s coworkers at the Reading garage locked him in a cage, doused him in brake fluid and set his clothes set on fire.

“The court heard of one occasion when four men held him down while a fifth punched his leg, leaving him with a long-lasting limp.

 “Much of the abuse was dismissed as “banter” and “horseplay” by his then colleagues.

“After the police returned his belongings, his mother found 14 diary entries saved in the calendar app on his iPad, describing traumatic events from his workplace. One said: “My boss told me to hurry up and hang myself because I’m a useless piece of shit.”

“Cheese referred to a “PC” in his diary entries, writing: “PC tied me up, pressure-washed me. Thought it was hilarious. I couldn’t stand up afterwards. He called me a pussy and I had to walk home soaking wet.”

Another entry said “PC” had approached Cheese after his parents complained to the company and called him “a pussy who went telling tales to mummy”.

Work-Related suicides are on the rise and we estimate account for at least 300 deaths per year. 2 The HSE excludes suicides from being reported under the Reporting of injuries, death and dangerous  Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 3  and they are not properly investigated under the Joint Protocol on Work Related Death 4.

Consequently the employers and managers who play a role in the bullying or other work conditions that lead to a death by suicide are not held to account, and there are rarely any prosecutions for the work-related actions such as bullying, or long hours, excessive workloads, low pay and insecurity, all of which are reported to drive workers to take their own lives.

The Inquest is not a place to determine or ascribe blame, but to ascertain who died, when, where and how.  It is the authority responsible for enforcing health and safety in the workplace – the HSE or Local Authority in this case- and the police under the Joint Protocol for Work Related Death which should investigate, hold employers to account, take enforcement action to ensure future compliance,  and if there is sufficient evidence take prosecutions for breaches in the law.

Work-related suicides are not counted by the HSE, therefore do not count and are not taken seriously. Even when there is a blatant link with work, such as taking of a life in a workplace and letters specific work causes.  5

In a similar case to that of George Cheese, in Manchester in 2003 , 18 year old Hannah Kirkham took an overdose and died because she was being bullied at KFC.  Unlike in George’s case, the effect of the bullying was accepted as a major cause of her death.  At the Inquest in 2005,  the jury delivered a narrative verdict saying ‘she meant to kill herself by taking an overdose, was clinically depressed and this was “significantly influenced” by bullying at work. 6

However, as in George’s case, the Coroner ( Simon Nelson) , also noted favourably the employers’ action after her death: ‘KFC’s reaction to this inquiry in my view was appropriate, sensitive and proactive.”  He added he hoped anti-bullying policies made by the firm would prevent “similar tragic incidents”.

In both George’s and Hannah’s case, management were aware of, or shamefully, participated in totally unacceptable behaviour towards a vulnerable young colleague yet are not held accountable for the tragic outcome. In both cases the Coroners referred approvingly to action taken after the death.

‘Lessons have been learned’ are often the cruellest words a family can hear after someone they love has been killed by an employer’s negligence.  While everyone wants to ensure no-one else dies, it is surely only to be expected that improvements will be made? That an employee’s death would be a ‘wake up call’ for a negligent employer ?  But changes put in place afterwards, which should by law have been there before to stop the person dying, are cold comfort and should not be used to absolve the employers’ failures or show them in a better light.  It is not sufficient for justice that future deaths are prevented if employers are allowed to get away with the actions that contribute to a worker taking their life.

FACK are looking into work-related suicides generally and George Cheese’s death in particular.  We feel that work related suicides cannot be left to Inquests alone as they cannot hold employers to account for actions they have taken, or failed to take, that contribute to the suicide.  We are calling for

  • The HSE to change their policy and make it a duty under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) – http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm for employers to report suicide of employees when there is any suspicion  it might be work-related.
  • Ensure that all signatories to the Join Protocol on Work-Related Death – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wrdp1.pdf-  investigate suicides for work-related issues.
  • The Local Authority with responsibility for enforcing health and safety legislation in George’s workplace to take action to ensure the employers are held to account for the failings that allowed George to be bullied and contributed to his death, and to take enforcement action to ensure future compliance.

Notes:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/25/george-cheese-bullied-mechanic-killed-himself-audi-garage-not-to-blame-coroner
  2. The Whole Story”: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hazards-Campaign-challenging-the-HSE-statistics.pdf
  3. RIDDOR:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/reportable-incidents.htm;
  4. Joint Protocol on Work-Related Death: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wrdp1.pdf
  5. The Last Goodbye http://www.hazards.org/suicide/suicidalwork.htm

Inquest into Hannah Kirkham’s death: . http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4508022.stm

FACK Statement International Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April 2017

FACK families spend International Workers’ Memorial Day remembering our dead and further reinforcing our commitment to fight like hell for the living: you and your loved ones.

We do it because this year the TUC focus for the day is on good health and safety for all workers whoever they are.  Because, whoever they are, they are someone’s parent, spouse, sibling, child…they are someone’s loved one.

Until it touches your life, you can’t fully appreciate the impact it has.  Seeing a fiancé going from choosing wedding cars to sitting in a funeral cortege.  Having to visit a cemetery, once a month or more to lay flowers for a son and brother, who didn’t get the opportunity to become an uncle, a husband or a dad.  Knowing you’ll never answer the phone again to hear the words “how you doin’ sis?”  Having to send happy Easter, Christmas, anniversary, or birthday wishes “up there”.  Or wishing you’d been able to say goodbye that morning before they left.

You see, the HSE figure of 144 people killed at work last year is heartbreaking enough in itself: that so many should leave home, never to return.  And so is knowing that the last text you sent your husband read: “Hey sexy husband, hope your day’s got more exciting.  Love you.”  Mark was that sexy husband.  He was dead before he got the chance to read it, all down to lack of health and safety protections which he, his wife Tracey and their now 4-yr-old daughter should have expected to be a given.

It should also be a given that each and every work-related death is recognised, counted and therefore made to count!  We must remember all of the dead.  Because the HSE figure doesn’t include those who die at sea, or as a result of air incidents, or who die on our roads while working (or who are driving home dog tired after having to work excessively long hours of work), members of the public killed by work-related activities, or the huge numbers killed by occupational illnesses such as asbestos cancers.

It also doesn’t count those who die by suicide due to work.  Hazards estimates this at around 300 every year across the UK.  Almost one person every day driven to suicide because of work-related stress, fears over job security and low pay, work overload, bullying, or indeed as a result of injury or illness suffered at work, or the death of colleagues.

We daren’t begin to contemplate the horror of knowing your loved one, a police officer, took his own life after two of his colleagues were killed in the line of duty.  Having written out his own death tag, he hanged himself from a tree at a spot where he’d previously found a suicide victim.

Or the feeling of helplessness felt by the wife of the popular firefighter on hearing he had been found dead at his station having taken his own life.  She had reassured him “it was just a job and it didn’t matter”, that it was her “and the kids who were important”.  He was a man who “had never been the same” after the preventable death of a fellow firefighter two years previous and who a coroner was to find had had “pressure upon pressure piled upon him” at work.

Just as a young teacher had.  Her family state she was “worked to death” after a job promotion, only sleeping for 3 hours a night as her “mind was in overdrive”.  How would you ever being to come to terms with a loved one’s decision to jump to their death from a motorway bridge.

If we’re to effectively fight for the living, we must recognise work-related suicide – just as they do in Japan, Australia and France – and work to eliminate the causes.  We must resist the move to resilience as a means of tackling stress, and instead focus on removing or fixing the hazards, rather than fixating on fixing the worker.

A report in Hazards magazine states that: “when people feel they no longer have a voice in the workforce, they protest in other ways including, in the most extreme cases, by killing themselves.”

The most powerful voice is a collective one.  And we know that a union workplace is a far safer workplace!  Fewer injuries and occupational illnesses.  Less sickness absence.  And better reporting of health and safety problems, so they can be fixed before a worker suffers life-changing, life-limiting or life-ending consequences.

A union workplace is also a fairer, more equal one.

The international theme for today centres on inequality at work.  Because the work a person does often results from inequality and results in health inequality.  The lower your pay grade, the higher your health and safety risks, whether from overwork, exposure to substances which cause cancer, the inability to turn down overtime and shift work, or the worry about speaking up on health and safety for fear you lose your job and your family’s livelihood as a result.

As the “gig economy” and precarious work becomes increasingly prevalent, we see workers expected to survive on contracts that are temporary or casual in nature, with no guarantee as to hours, which are low paid, and which lack access to employment benefits and important legal protections.  These work arrangements negatively impact on the health and safety of individuals, whether in the form of increased incidence of workplace injury, work intensification and stress levels, or decreased collective organisation and trade union membership.  We must counter this and get political priorities properly focused, reiterating that we didn’t – and we won’t – vote to die at work!

We will continue the work of getting to a point where never again does a loved one leave home in a work’s van, only to return in one belonging to an undertaker.

So on this International Workers’ Memorial Day, we urge you to remember not only our dead, but all of the dead…and let’s ensure we fight like hell to ensure all others are able to keep on with the most important job of all, that of living life to the fullest each and every day.

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 Herbertson – husband 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 2004

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

Poster: Face it. Unfair workplaces are a real pain. Only unions can make things better.

Hazards Campaign has produced posters for International Workers’ Memorial Day. Order posters, forget-me-knot ribbons and other 28 April resources from the Hazards Campaign, tel: 0161 636 7557; email: info@hazardscampaign.org.uk

Poster: Fair enough? We are all sickened by inequality at work

Hazards Campaign has produced a dedicated poster for International Workers’ Memorial Day. Order posters, forget-me-knot ribbons and other 28 April resources from the Hazards Campaign, tel: 0161 636 7557; email: info@hazardscampaign.org.uk

Count down to Workers’ Memorial Day, 28 April 2017!

Are you ready for the biggest health and safety event on the calendar, anywhere? International Workers’ Memorial Day is set for Friday 28 April, highlighting how inequalities at work can be seriously bad for your health. Protests, marches, training days, workplace inspections and flash mobs are being planned. There’s a good chance there will be an event near to you – if not, there’s still time to organise one.

TUC Workers’ Memorial Day 2017 events listing. Find out what’s happening worldwide on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Get your resources for IWMD17
Order posters, forget-me-knot ribbons and other 28 April resources from the Hazards Campaign, tel: 0161 636 7557; email: info@hazardscampaign.org.uk
Purple Forget me Knot ribbons:2017 WMD ribbon order form
Two Free #IWMD17 Posters
Face it. We are all sickened by inequality at work, editorial by ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow, April 2017.
Unsafe and unfair – discrimination on the job hurts us all, ITUC briefing for, 28 April 2017.

FACK Statement on the prosecution of Crossrail construction companies

On 12th April at Westminster Magistrates Court, three companies are being prosecuted for the death of one worker and the injury of two others workers on Crossrail: BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd, and Keir Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd. (1).

They are being prosecuted in relation to three incidents that took place during the construction of the new Crossrail railway tunnel construction, which runs east to west across London.

All three companies will to face four charges each. Two relating to the death of Rene Tka’cik on the 7 March 2014, and one each relating to injuries to Terrence Hughes on the 16 January, and Alex Vizitiu on 22 January 2015. Rene Tka’cik died after he was crushed by falling concrete on the 7 March 2014 while working on the Fisher Street cross-over tunnel.

FACK stands in solidarity with the family of Rene Tka’cik, the injured workers, Terrence Hughes and Alex Vizitiu, the Construction Safety Campaign, CSC, and London Hazards in their silent vigil outside the magistrate’s court at 2pm wearing purple forget-me-knot ribbons. Purple ribbons are the symbol of International Workers Memorial Day 28 April every year which is dedicated to ‘Remembering the Dead and Fighting for the Living’ because no one should ever go to work and be killed. (2)

Almost all deaths and injuries at work are due to employers’ mismanagement and these three companies are being prosecuted for alleged breaches of health and safety law.

There have been many reports of health and safety mismanagement of companies working on Cross Rail from blacklisting for reporting health and safety issues that went on to seriously hurt other workers, for poor welfare facilities –workers having to walk miles for a toilet..

It is completely unacceptable in 2017 that large construction companies can neglect workers health, safety and welfare and all employers must be held to account for the sake of justice for those killed and harmed, their families, and for deterrence: to stop other employers corporate killing. .

FACK families say:

“No-one we loved died from too much regulation and enforcement but from far too little. We believe everyone should be able to go work and come home safe every day as the law requires. No employer should be able to flout the law and put anyone at risk. Our hearts go out to Rene’s family and we hope they will get some justice, and that employers will stop hurting workers.”

More information contact FACK 0161 636 7557 or 07929800240

Notes to Editors

1. HSE Notice: HSE Prosecution annoucement 
2. Workers Memorial Day 28 April:

Founder Members of FACK:
Dawn and Paul Adams – son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre,10th October 1998
Linzi Herbertson -husband 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 Murphy – son Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work on 21st February 2004
Louise Taggart – brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work on 4th August 2005
Linda Whelan – son Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work on 23rd May 2004
Dorothy & Douglas Wright – son Mark Wright 37, killed at work on 13th April 2005

 

Hazards 2017 conference booking form now available to download

Hazards 2017 Conference: Organising health, safety and welfare in an insecure world

28th – 30th July 2017, Keele University – Download the booking form

Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists.  As usual, we have invited a number of international and national trade union leaders, academics and campaigners who will share their knowledge and experience.  A comprehensive workshop programme to improve your skills and provide you with practical information to support your role as a rep/steward.

The opening plenary on Friday evening will feature inspiring speakers including Jessica Martinez from Hazards Campaign sister organisation, US National COSH to talk about the  joint threats  we face and how we can work together to fight them.  There will be great discussions in the plenaries  and in meetings.  One of the three meetings is about the therapy industry  being used to individualise mental ill health in the workplace, undermining employers’ responsibility to control the risks and ignoring the effect of government policies and spending  cuts causing growing poverty and inequality.  Another meeting will focus on how we eliminate hazardous substances such as carcinogens in the workplace and environment, and a third one on how we engage vulnerable and exploited workers in new organising methods.   In addition, there will be a number of campaign meetings, where activists will share information about their campaign successes and challenges.

Hazards 2017 takes place in the wonderful setting of Keele University and is attended by over 350 trade union reps from all unions, from different sectors and employers.  There will be plenty of trade union resources available at the exhibition stall for you to take away, along with developing your network of contacts, knowledge and organising skills to improve your workplace health and safety. So you can go home revitalised to educate, agitate and organise to make work safe!

Download the booking form

Anniversary of the deaths of Mick Collings, Chris Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, and John Shaw

FACK Statement for use 23.2.17

Anniversary of the deaths of Mick Collings, Chris Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, and John Shaw  in the collapse of Didcot boiler house on 23.2.16

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) would like to mark the first anniversary of the deaths of four workers Mick Collings, Chris Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, and John Shaw, today Thursday 23rd February 2017.

Mick, Chris, Ken and John were working for Coleman’s at Didcot power station on the demolition of boiler houses for RWE.  The boiler houses were being prepared for demolition when something went terribly wrong and it collapsed upon them, burying them under tonnes of rubble.

The body of Mick Collings was found that day but Chris, Ken and John were not found until more than six months later.

The trauma of their deaths and the agonising time taken to recover the bodies of the three men they loved – partners, husbands, fathers – has been incredibly traumatising and added to the grief of all the families concerned.

“I am in awe of the courage and strength they have all shown and hope that the investigation will provide the answers they need.”

FACK has offered support to three of the families and wishes to pay tribute to their steadfast concern to get their men out, to find out what happened, why they died, to be the voices for their men and to bear witness to their lives however painful and traumatic that has been.

Hilda Palmer for FACK said: “We have never known of such a tragedy where workers were killed but not recovered for so long and the agony to the families is heartbreaking. The families now await the result of the Police and HSE investigation into the cause of the collapse and who, if anyone, is accountable. This will not bring back the men they loved, but the families are entitled to as much justice as possible. It is also vital that all lessons are learned as this must never happen again. Demolition workers doing their job should not be killed and remain under rubble for months adding immensely to the grief and trauma of their families.  I am in awe of the courage and strength they have all shown and hope that the investigation will provide the answers they need.  The FACK families send their love, strength and hopes to the families of Mick Collings, Chris Huxtable, Ken Cresswell and John Shaw and we are all thinking of you today especially, but always.”

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

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 2004

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

FACK stories: http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/fack/about/index.htm Plus FACK DVD ‘Face the FACKs: the human cost of workplace killing’ http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/fack/resources/facethefacks.pdf