no embargo - 21 April 2010 ( Back to news releases)
FACK demands political parties “Tell us you’ll stand up for workers safety before we vote for you”
Releasing FACK’s election demands (1) on the political parties today, Dorothy Wright, founder FACK member asks:
”Which political party will fulfil their primary duty to protect citizens’ lives instead of selling those lives for company gold?”
FACK spokesperson said: ”In this election we want to vote for safer workplaces but none of the parties has anything positive to say, and the Conservative negative, deregulatory, self-regulatory, ‘H&S is a burden on business’ nonsense, is potentially deadly. The Liberal Democrats also propose cutting regulation.
“We want to know that when members of our families go to work, they will be safer than the loved ones who were killed by employers’ negligence. We need to hear the party leaders address the evidence that contradicts the falsehoods of ‘burdens on business’ rather then the burden of employers negligence on us, and on the whole of society. Every one of the people we lost died not because of too much health and safety or over enforcement but because of almost none at all! For example: no health and safety systems at all as the employer thought it was all common sense; risk assessments not done, or carried out but then ignored and no-one told about them or trained in safe system; saving £12 on safety equipment; failing to follow manufacturers safety instructions and going against specific prohibitions warning of death or injury; being warned of the dangers of an operation involving welding but signing hot work permits anyway; operating a faulty piece of equipment despite the clear dangers of explosion. Read our stories (2)
Not one of these deaths would have been prevented by less regulation and less enforcement, and they happened because there is insufficient enforcement pressure on employers to comply, and little fear of any consequences.
“We bear the heart ache of losing a father, a son, wife, mother, sister, husband, brother or partner, and we also bear a huge financial cost of losing a bread winner. Society bears the burden of the majority of the cost of employers’ health and safety failures, an estimated £30 billion per year, as despite creating 100% of the risks, they pay less than 25% of the costs. This is unacceptable at any time but in this deep recession caused by lack of regulation, it is totally unsustainable.
“The Labour party has been disappointing in government, has recently rejected a legal duty on directors to be responsible for H&S, and has precious little to say on health and safety in their manifesto. We condemn the Tory proposals as designed to make an already dire situation many times worse by deregulating and reducing enforcement.”
More information contact Hilda Palmer 0161 636 7557