no embargo - 17 August 2007( Back to news releases)
Stockline families in demand for full public inquiry
FACK (1) welcomes the guilty verdict entered by ICL Plastics and ICL Tech Limited this morning but warn that the families of those killed and injured in this blast will only get the answers they deserve and the full story of how this terrible disaster came about, if there is a full public inquiry.
FACK families know only too well that most deaths at work are not tragic, out of the blue accidents, but the end point of a catalogue of health and safety mis management and a widespread culture of lax attitudes to workers safety. Only by revealing the full story of how the blast happened, can lessons be learned and other employers made fully aware of their responsibilities to all workers.
Scottish Fack member Louise Adamson (2) says: “We fully support the Stockline families in calling for a public inquiry into the tragic events of 11 May 2004. Every family should be able to expect that when a loved one leaves for work in the morning, they will return home safely. Tragically for so many families in the UK each year, health and safety failings by employers mean there is no welcome home at the front door, but instead a final farewell at a graveside. Having lost my own brother more than two years ago in a work-related incident, I know only too well the pain of waiting for answers. The Stockline families need to understand "why" and, having waited in limbo for more than three years already, they deserve to receive answers as quickly as possible."
Fack founder member Linzi Herbertson (3) says:
“We support the Stockline families and STUC in wanting a full, open inquiry into how this disaster was allowed to happen so that lessons can be learned by all employers and other families spared the agony of losing someone they love in a preventable incident at work. We also want clear endorsement by the HSE, government and all political parties, that there is no hiding place for employers who flout their legal and moral duties to comply with health and safety regulations. Health and safety law is not senseless ‘red tape’ it is there to protect all of us and when employers fail to comply, families like us suffer the consequences for the rest of our lives.”
Linda Whelan (4) says: “My heart goes out to the Stockline families but the guilty plea by the company is only the first step in the process of gaining some justice. The full facts must come out or families will be left like me, unsure of what happened to kill their loved ones, unable to move on. We cannot bring back those we have lost but we all need to ensure that this does not happen again. Only a full public inquiry can ensure that all employers and all workers are made aware of how health and safety failures lead to death and only then can we begin to change the culture in those workplaces which are ‘accidents waiting to happen’, where workers risk their lives and their health every day. The Stockline incident makes everyone aware of the dangers of the current badly thought out proposals on deregulation which conclude that ‘health and safety is only red tape, tick-boxing’. Make no mistake: employers’ compliance with health and safety law is the slender thread that keep us all safe and prevents the loss of blood and life; lack of compliance kills people..”
FACK spokesperson Hilda Palmer adds “For the Stockline families to have to wait three years for answers to their questions is unacceptable in our so-called civilised society. The time for answers and the time for a full public enquiry is now and we call for immediate action.”
FACK Contact details Hilda Palmer 0161 636 7557 and see below.
1. FACK was launched in July 2006 with the support of the Hazards Campaign. We have spoken at many public meetings and conferences, launched FACK at the STUC in Scotland, and recently at International Workers Memorial Day 28th April in Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and Oldham. .FACK leaflet and information available on website www.fack.org.uk
2. Louise Adamson whose brother Michael was electrocuted while working at a JJB store in Dundee says: “FACK is a national network of those bereaved as a result of unsafe and unhealthy workplaces who have been left angry and frustrated. We feel we have been robbed twice: Once of loved ones in incidents that should have been prevented by employers simply obeying the law on workplace health and safety; and secondly of the right to justice.” Tel: 0131 271 4121 x4121 work mobile 07812 782 534
3. Linzi Herbertson whose husband Andrew was killed when he fell from an incorrectly scaffold platform while dismantling a printing press in Oldham in January 1998 says
“Everyone should be able to go to work and come home safely but this won’t happen until all employers know that if they don’t take workers health and safety seriously they will face severe consequences. Health and safety at work is a human right not a privilege and every workplace needs a trade union safety rep to keep the employer up to scratch.” Tel 0161 681 8078 Mobile 07790024379
4. Linda Whelan whose son Craig was killed in a fire in a chimney at Metal Box in Bolton said “My son was killed on 23rd May 2002, after 5 years, I am still waiting for an inquest and answers as to how he came to be killed. Thousands of people have been killed by work since this government came to power, if they were killed by terrorism then government and government agencies would be crying out.
Tel 01388 773884 daytime Mobile 07919334793