FACK statement on the fatalities caused by the explosion at Wessex Water, Avonmouth, 3 December 2020

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) Statement on the fatalities caused by the explosion at Wessex Water, Avonmouth 3.12.2020

The FACK family sends all our love and heartfelt condolences to the families of those workers who were killed, to those workers injured, and to all involved in the devastating explosion at Avonmouth yesterday. We are heartbroken for you all. We have campaigned hard to try to prevent deaths at work and other families going through what you are now.  We have been where you are, and we offer the support and advice of those who know the process as you begin the terrible journey we have been on. We will stand by you and help where we can.

Hilda Palmer, facilitator of FACK said today:

“No-one should ever die for going to work to earn a living. We have health and safety laws that should mean work is safe, that workers can leave home with a wave, a kiss, a ‘See you later’ and come home alive and safe, uninjured, physically and mentally well, unharmed by their work at the end of their shift.  When workers do not come home it is a terrible tragedy for them and their families. But it is almost never a freak accident or a rare illness that has killed or made them ill.  There must now be a full and thorough criminal investigation and until this has been completed we do not know what caused the explosion, whether it was an accident or due to some negligence of health and safety law and procedures.

Having supported hundreds of families after workplace deaths, we urge those involved to act with compassion, care and with as much speed as possible. We specifically ask:

  • The companies involved to behave with compassion and honour their duty of care to workers and families, to support all the workers injured and the families of those killed, not to abandon them. This means many forms of practical support immediately as families have many urgent needs and have lost breadwinners as well as fathers, husbands and partners.
  • The authorities responsible for investigation under the Joint Protocol on Work-Related Death – The Police, Health and Safety Executive and Crown Prosecution Service – to act with their usual professionalism and expertise in investigating the incident, keeping the families informed and coming to as speedy a conclusion as possible.
  • For all those other authorities, organisations and people who deal with the families now and in coming months, to show understanding and compassion as they have suffered a terrible trauma, and the effects will continue for a very long time.
  • To all employers – check your health and safety procedures today. The vast majority of deaths at work are caused by failures to manage health and safety properly.
  • To all workers – you have a legal right to a safe and healthy workplace check that you are safe, if you do not feel safe speak up, join a union, you are safer working with others. Almost all families of those killed at work say the person killed was worried about health and safety at work.

For more information contact:  Hilda Palmer 07929800240

Hilda Palmer,  Facilitator of Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK.

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 Oldham, January 1998

Mike and Lynne Hutin son Andrew Hutin 20, killed at work at Corus, Port Talbot on 8th Nov 2001

Mick & Bet Murphyson Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work in Brighton on 21st February 2004

Louise Taggart brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work in Aberdeen, on 4th August 2005

Linda Whelanson Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work in Bolton on 23rd May 2002

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

FACK – Greater Manchester Hazards Centre (gmhazards.org.uk)

Hazards Campaign ‘The Whole Story’ of workplace death – far larger than publicised.

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