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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

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

 

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

PM’s speech on mental health ‘woefully inadequate’

Hazards Campaign comment on Prime Minster Theresa May’s  announcement of a  package of measures covering mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities. 10 January 2017

Whilst the Hazards Campaign welcomes the discussion about how to help workers suffering from mental ill-health, Theresa May’s speech  is woefully inadequate, full of empty words and it comes at a time when the Government is under considerable pressure because of the crisis in the NHS,  yet she  offers no new resources to handle the extra demands of her proposals.

The NHS  crisis is based on political dogma of privatisation.   A crisis which has seen children being sent hundreds of miles to find suitable mental health support.  A crisis which has seen people waiting for days in general hospital beds whilst mental health beds and the support they desperately need, become available. This is being rolled out also at a time when there are funding cuts for our schools, a time when our teachers continue to be over worked,  and there are excessive pressures on our children from continuous testing.  Their mental health will not be improved unless all this is tackled and not by placing new demands on them.

The PM talks about a ‘shared society based on the values of citizenship, responsibility and fairness’ when in reality our society is more divided and unequal than it has ever been in recent history.

“Mental health first aid is like putting a sticking plaster over the festering sore.  The injury needs to be prevented.”

The welfare system is broken and people are taking their own lives rather than face the misery of unbearably stressful work, poverty, debt and homelessness.  Nowhere in the speech does the PM address this. Nowhere does she mention trade unions or safety reps who are in the front-line dealing with the mental health epidemic caused by government and employers actions.

We do not need another report, what we need is urgent action.  Action which forces employers to ensure that their employees’ mental health is not made worse by their workplaces.  That they are not having to do the same workload with fewer workers, or increased work on fewer hours.  That at the end of their 12 hour shifts they are not ill from fatigue.  That their employment is not based on a series of zero hours contracts  leaving them unable to challenge injustices and unfairness or unsafe working conditions.

This is not just in precarious employment, not just in casual employment, but applies to workers in government departments, in universities, in colleges, who are all working in unacceptably stressful jobs because of the excessive demands made on them, the insecurity of their work, and often the low wages do not cover the bills.

Mental health first aid is like putting a sticking plaster over the festering sore.  The injury needs to be prevented.

As there is so little done to help people with mental health problems at work at the moment, it would be hard to reject any real action to tackle this. We welcome the focus on the huge and growing epidemic of work-related stress illnesses and the way in which stress and mental ill-health have become endemic in most workplaces.   However as a proposal  ‘to transform mental health support’ this falls way short.

Government policies fostering inequality, injustice at work, lack of access to justice for resolutions, a culture that blames those who are ill and sick as shirkers and malingers, in-work poverty from low wages that do not pay the bills creating debt and  insecurity exacerbated by zero hours and other insecure contracts, and the endlessly increasing pressures upon workers are all major causes of mental ill-health at work.  There is no clear acknowledgement  that these and the way work is organised, is making so many workers mentally ill.

Tackling the work factors that cause stress is essential to ‘drive work with business and the public sector to support mental health in the workplace’. Much of the proposal focuses on individuals  already suffering and we welcome the promise to provide more help and support and to ‘review recommendations around discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of mental health’.

However, Government policies and workplace practices are driving this huge epidemic of work related depression, anxiety and other mental ill-health.

If Theresa May’s speech is not to just become a speech which at best mentions mental illness and at worst it is a deflection from the current NHS crisis, then we need mental health support to be treated more seriously, with more resources, achievable targets, support for trade union safety reps and for all actions by employers which make people ill, to be dealt with more severely.

Legal aid should be extended to all families of those bereaved by work

Commenting on the 25 July 2016  Guardian interview with the soon to step down chief coroner Peter Thornton QC, Hazards Campaign spokesperson Hilda Palmer said:

“The Hazards Campaign and FACK have long called for ‘equality of arms’ for all families of those killed by work.

“While we welcome what the Chief Coroner says, we want the right to legal aid to ensure representation at inquests to be the right of all families of those killed by work, whether or not any arm/emanation  of the state is directly involved. Otherwise more injustice, unfairness  is created.

“Families up against the companies who killed their family members need to be legally represented but frequently are not. This means there is inadequate examination of the issues, the failings of the companies themselves, and of the state regulatory/enforcement system that is intended to keep work safe, hold employers to account and contribute to preventing future deaths.”

See: Chief coroner calls for legal aid provision in state-involved inquests, The Guardian, 25 July 2016

Send the PM a message

To mark the start of the Hazards Conference 2016 the Hazards Campaign is inviting you to join the postcard campaign to remind the new Prime Minister Theresa May that the effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws saves lives.

postcardrearThousands of postcards have been produced and will be freely available at the conference. Additionally an electronic postcard mailing tool has been developed so you can lobby the PM electronically.

The text of the card is as follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

We warmly welcome your determination to tackle inequalities across society.

One of the most damaging inequalities is in occupational health and safety, which contributes greatly to the mortality and morbidity gulf between rich and poor.

Effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws saves lives. Please do not neglect them.

Use Brexit to improve not erode health and safety protection for all workers.

Yours sincerely

Hazards conference 2016: Building the resistance and defending our lives

News release [Immediate]

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, will address Hazards 2016 Conference on 31st July

The Hazards Campaign annual conference, Hazards 2016, runs from Friday 29th to 31st July at Keele University. 350 safety reps from all unions from all over the UK, and from all types of workplace, will gather to listen to informed and inspirational speakers and to participate in workshops and meetings under the theme ‘Building the Hazards Resistance to support Safety Reps to defend our health and safety in post Brexit world’. 

Hilda Palmer, acting chair of the Hazards Campaign and one of the organisers says:

“We are especially delighted this year to welcome John McDonnell to speak to our final plenary on Sunday 31st July.  John has been an active and steadfast supporter of workers, trade unions, the Hazards Campaign and Hazards Magazine in campaigning for better health and safety for many, many years. Through the Trade Union Coordinating Group John has run successful parliamentary lobbies and hosted International Workers Memorial Day meetings in the House of Commons.

“He is a regular and popular speaker at trade union conferences as he understand the issues workers are facing far more clearly than many,  and was one of the first to speak out against zero hours contracts, blacklisting, other abusive work practices, the need for  a maximum temperature,  and the effects of austerity and neoliberalism on workers terms and conditions, especially on our lives and health. 

“John McDonnell was instrumental in the campaign against Blacklisting, helped to set up the Blacklist Support Group and has supported it through thick and thin. John is a great supporter of workers’ struggles and frequently visits picket lines to show solidarity with workers fighting for decent workIn Parliament he has been a great advocate for workers health and safety and rights generally.” 

John McDonnell will speak at the final plenary of Hazards 2016, which is  the largest health and safety conference for safety reps in UK, run by Hazards Campaign and Hazards Magazine. Speaking ahead of the conference John McDonnell said:

“After a long term decline I am very worried that workplace deaths and diseases are on the rise again. Workers deserve the protection of strong employment rights, trade union rights and a safety watchdog that is up to the job.

“Six years of Conservative-led government have allowed rogue bosses to exploit an increasingly insecure and abused workforce. Labour will protect people at work, rather than create a world where the likes of Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley can get away with whatever they want.

“Working people earn this country’s wealth and run our public services; these are essential tasks for which no-one should pay with their life.”

Hilda Palmer adds:

“The Tories’ fanatical obsession with deregulation is bad for your health. After a long term decline workplace deaths are rising and workplace diseases are rising. Workers need a regulatory with sharp teeth but the HSE and Local Authority enforcement have been captured by business to the detriment of workers.  Hazards 2016 will discuss the state we are in due to 6 years of Tory/Coalition deregulation and the threats from Brexit and new trade deals. 

“Safety Reps will gain updated information, learn new organising and campaigning tools and set actions to defend workers lives and health in the coming year.  Hazards 2016 will discuss the state we are in due to 6 years of Tory/Coalition deregulation and the threats from Brexit and new trade deals.” 

More information: Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557  0079298 00240

For notifications of Hazards Campaign news and activities visit our sign-up page

Hazards 2016 http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hazconf2016bookingform.pdf

Hazards 2016 Programme: http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/?cat=7

Buy me: HSE pimps out its services as regulating takes a back seat www.hazards.org/safetypimp/buyme.htm

HSE is all talk: How it became unsafe to leave policy to the safety regulator www.hazards.org/votetodie/alltalk.htm

John McDonnell supporting Blacklisted workers at High Court: http://www.hazards.org/images/h134poster1000.jpg

Confirmed: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will speak at the Hazards 2016 conference

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP will speak at the final plenary session of the Hazards conference 2016 ,  the largest health and safety conference for safety reps in UK, run by Hazards Campaign, 29-31 July. He says:

“After a long term decline I am very worried that workplace deaths and diseases are on the rise again. Workers deserve the protection of strong employment rights, trade union rights and a safety watchdog that is up to the job.

“Six years of Conservative-led government have allowed rogue bosses to exploit an increasingly insecure and abused workforce. Labour will protect people at work, rather than create a world where the likes of Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley can get away with whatever they want.

“Working people earn this country’s wealth and run our public services; these are essential tasks for which no-one should pay with their life.”

More details on the Hazards 2016 conference

Alarm bells as work tragedies strike

In the last three years, the long term downward trend in UK work fatalities has reversed and is plateauing.  HSE’s latest fatality statistics released on 7 July 2016 show a provisional total of 144 workers killed in work-related incidents which is slightly upon last year’s final total of 142 last year and 136 the year before. (1). There has been an increase in deaths in construction, up from 35 to 43.

Also, on 7 July 2016, five men were killed at a recycling plant in Birmingham: Saibo Sillahhe; Alimamo Jammeh; Ousman Jabbie; Bangaly Dukureh; Mohammed Jagana, all Spanish nationals from Gambia.  This was the third work-related multiple fatality in less than a year in England.  Derek Moore, Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks and Jason Shingler were killed and many injured at Bosley Wood flour miIl explosion on 17th July 2015. Christopher Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, John Shaw and Michael Collings were killed in the collapse of a boiler house while being prepared for demolition at Didcot Power Station on 23rd February 2016. The body of Michael Collings was recovered but the other three workers still lie under the rubble nearly 20 weeks later to the horror and grief of their families.

A Hazards Campaign spokesperson said:

“The past 6 years of Coalition and Tory government have seen huge cuts to the enforcement of laws intended to protect workers, and a constant stream of lies about good health and safety being a ‘burden on business’ (2).  There are of course unforeseeable, unpreventable accidents at work, however almost all deaths and injuries at work are due to the poor management of health and safety by employers.   We will not know the cause of this latest multiple worker fatality incident until the result of the full investigation. But we would be concerned if there has been a fall in proactive, preventive inspections even in the few high risk industries such as waste and recycling where such inspections are currently still permitted.

“We believe that the stalling in the decline in deaths at work and an increase in ill-health due to work, is a direct result of government policies and the attack on HSE and Local Authorities as regulators and enforcers (3)

 “We know, and the families of those killed at work know, that red tape is far better than bloody bandages. No-one died from too much regulation and enforcement but from quite the opposite.  (4). We completely oppose any post-Brexit further slashing of workers’ health and safety.  We demand that the  government put an end to the constant denigration of health and safety regulations and enforcement, and reverse the attacks on budgets and policies at the HSE and Local Authorities, so that workers can be protected properly at work. The HSE’s latest strategy is little more than a business advice brochure and their hashtag,  #helpgbworkwell, no more than wishful thinking (5).

“We also urge ministers to meet with us, with Families Against Corporate Killers (6),  and the families of those killed at work in Birmingham, at Didcot and Bosley, and all across the country in much less noticed single worker incidents, to explain why their lives have less priority than the freedom of employers to make profits.”

Notes:

  1. http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/annual-workplace-fatality-statistics-published/
  2. Hazards Magazine: ‘Will we survive another Tory term?’ http://www.hazards.org/gallery/willwesurvive.htm
  3. Hazards Magazine: ‘Cuts to HSE hurts workers’: http://www.hazards.org/safetypimp/buyme.htm
    Steve Tombs: ‘Better Regulation- Better for Whom?’ Briefing on cuts to Local Authority enforcement of health and safety, pollution control  and food safety: https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/sites/crimeandjustice.org.uk/files/Better%20regulation%20briefing%2C%20April%202016_0.pdf
  4. Hazards Magazine:  ‘It’s your choice red tape or bloody bandages’; http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/citizensane.htm; ‘We Love red tape it’s better than bloody bandages’: http://www.hazards.org/gallery/weloveredtape.htm
  5. Hazards Magazine ‘HSE all talk’: http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/alltalk.htm
  6.  Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK, founded in July 2006 http://ww.fack.org.uk

Founder Members:

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

Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

Hazards Campaign news release  
Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

The Hazards Campaign supports the report published today, Friday 16th October, by the all-party parliamentary group on occupational safety and health calling for the safe removal of all asbestos in Britain as an answer to the asbestos crisis.

Hilda Palmer, acting chair of the Hazards Campaign said:

 “Asbestos is not a problem of the past, but a very real and present risk to many workers.  There are still millions of tonnes in about half a million workplaces and public buildings – schools, hospitals- across the UK.  Some of it in a poor state, poorly managed and shedding microscopic asbestos fibres into the air that people then breathe.  All types of asbestos are carcinogenic and exposure to asbestos at work continues to cause over 5,000 deaths every year from mesothelioma and lung cancer.  Over 15 years after the use of asbestos was banned, hundreds of thousands of workers, and children in schools and other public buildings, are still at risk of exposure every day.

“The Hazards Campaign wholeheartedly supports and endorses the proposal from the all-party group for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from all workplaces and public buildings.  Beginning the removal of the carcinogenic hazard of asbestos from our buildings now, is the only way of ensuring the protection of future generations from the risk of a known and preventable cause of death.

“Failure of government to act now will be knowingly condemning future generations to death.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:  Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557

  1. The report – The asbestos crisis: Why Britain needs an eradication law – is available at www.ianlavery.org.uk/asbestos_eradication