The Hazards Campaign
14 April 2010 - No embargo
When will senior directors of companies such as Corus be held personally accountable for their serial killing and injuring workers?
The Hazards Campaign asks the leaders of the political parties to tell us where they stand on employers who kill and injure their workers, and especially those who do it again and again:
"When will senior directors of companies such as Corus be held personally accountable for their serial killing and injuring workers?”
Following the latest fine against Corus UK Ltd for not preventing the death of Ross Beddow, the Hazards Campaign says given the history of repeated criminality of the company (see below) and the deadly nature of their crimes - why hasn't any senior director been called to account in the courts for causing all this death, disability and injury?
Corus's abysmal health and safety record is illustrated by the 16 separate entries in the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) prosecutions database which relate to death and injury, AND......... the 24 separate entries in the HSE's notices database, including many stop work notices, since 2001. These incidents include the Port Talbot furnace explosion where Stephen Galsworthy, 25, Andrew Hutin, 20, and Len Radford, 53 were all killed in 2001.
The Hazards Campaign calls upon the leaders of political parties to explain where they stand on this issue of the failure of the existing legal system to change the behaviour of a company, what they would do about it and why those individuals who ran this deadly company at the time have not been personally called to answer in court.
The Hazards Campaign believes the evidence shows that directors of companies with a similar record will get away with it too, unless a positive legal duty to be responsible for the health and safety of their organisation is imposed on all directors. This does not feature in the manifesto of any of the political parties and we wonder why.
Corus has faced several ‘large fines’ for killing and injuring workers. While the fine of £1.3 million, plus £1.7 million costs imposed on Corus in December 2006 for the killing of three workers in the Port Talbot furnace explosion, was heralded was exemplary, may seem large, it has not stopped them from committing more offences and injuring and killing more workers. It should also be noted that after that large fine Corus took deliver of a new £75 million blast furnace courtesy of their insurance. Fines may look large but are a drop in the ocean of the company's turnover and profits and act as no real deterrent as Corus has shown. Again and again.
The Hazards Campaign says company directors and employers will not give due regard to preventing workplace death, disability, injury and ill-health until they are held personally liable and we want to know which political party will act to put a stop to this corporate crime wave.
Corus's recent prosecution history:
April 2010 - Corus (UK) Ltd fined £240,000 after a lorry driver Ross Beddow was crushed to death at its site in Staffordshire.
March 2010 - Corus UK Ltd fined £10,000 following an explosion in a 75-metre-tall steel chimney in Scunthorpe.
March 2010 - Corus UK Ltd fined £100,000 after a worker at Rotherham luckily escaped with only minor injuries after the crane he was operating overturned.
March 2010 - Corus UK Limited, trading as Corus Special Profiles, fined £5,000 after a worker was injured while clearing a jam in the production line at a factory in Skinningrove, East Cleveland.
Sept 2008 - Corus UK Ltd, trading as Corus Tubes in Hartlepool, was fined £15,000 after worker was hit by falling beam.
April 2008 - Corus UK Ltd fined £170,000 after Shane Eastwood was killed when he was crushed while working at Rotherham.
Feb 2008 - Corus UK Ltd, trading as Corus Packaging Plus fined £250,000 following the death of Francis Coles in Llanelli.
Aug 2007 - Corus UK Ltd fined £125,000 after an employee received life-threatening burns at their Appleby site.
And that's not all.......There's loads more prosecutions of Corus UK Ltd companies recorded on the HSE enforcement databases
For even more information see Hazards magazine's Corus page:
The Hazards Campaign,
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70