news release



no embargo - 3 July 2012 ( Back to news releases)

You Lie: We Die so stop it,  you’re killing us!”
FACK tells Grayling’s government in protest outside D.W.P. at 12 noon 3rd July
Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA

FACK joins Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group and Construction Safety Campaign to protest outside the Department of Work and Pension in demanding that the Tower Crane Regs, for which they campaigned, should be strengthened not scrapped.  But FACK is also protesting against the government’s all-out attack on workers’ health and safety protection by slashing enforcement and inspections, and proposing to revoke regulations and downgrade Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) to Guidance.  The current consultation calls for the scrapping of 14 set of regulations including the Notification of Tower Cranes Regulations, Construction Head Protection Regulations and the Dock Regulations (1).  FACK says the government attack is based on lies and workers die because of it.

Linzi Herbertson Founder member of FACK whose husband was killed when he fell from incorrectly erected scaffolding, said: “We set up FACK up in 2006 to campaign for improvements in the inadequate system of enforcement, regulation and punishment of safety criminals that killed the people we love.  But now this government wants to slash to pieces even that inadequate safety net, based on the lies that it’s a ‘burden on business’ and it is over enforced. We are here to say no one we loved was killed due to too much regulation or enforcement but the complete lack of either, and the real burden is on us. We bear all the heartache of someone being killed by their employers’ negligence and, to add insult to injury, we also bear 55% of the financial cost! (2, page 19))  Negligent employers pay less than a quarter of the cost and export the rest onto all of us via health and benefits cost to the state.  There is no evidence to support the government’s case for cuts, but lots to support the value of regulation, enforcement and proactive inspections (3).  Already on Grayling’s watch, in the first year of this government 2010/11 the death rate went up by 16% and by 22% in construction (2)”   But Grayling refuses to meet us, the real victims of the poor health and safety burden, preferring to give the business lobby whatever it wants at the cost of workers’ lives”
Dawn Adams founder FACK member added that ‘My son was killed when an unrestrained 18 stone barrier fell on him at a newly opened shopping centre, in contravention of the Construction Design and Management Regulations.  FACK deplores the loss of any construction-related regulations, and is also shocked that the Dock Regulations could even be considered for scrapping as the death rate there is now running at up to 20 times the national average (4)!  Proactive inspections that help to prevent deaths and injuries are now banned in the Docks as a result of Chris Grayling slashing 33% of HSE proactive inspections (11,000 a year) in March last year, and HSE subsequently reclassifying the Docks as ‘low hazard’.  Slashing the Dock regulations and ACoP in such a dangerous workplace and replacing it with weak guidance is madness.  FACK supports the Hazards ‘We Didn’t Vote to Die at Work’ Campaign and is here today to tell Chris Grayling “You lie: we die so stop it, you’re killing us” (5)

For more information contact Hilda Palmer 079298 00240

1.  CD239 HSE Proposals to remove 14 Legislative measures, consultation ends 4th July:
CD241 – HSE Proposals to review HSE’s Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) consultation end 14th September

2. HSE Annual Statistics Report 2010/11

3. Hazards Magazine “You Lie: We Die” includes:  A May 2012 study led by Professor Michael Toffel of the famously business-friendly Harvard Business School discovered a surprise visit from an official safety inspector is good for both jobs and the bottom line, and the benefits just go on and on. The news release announcing the study was clear enough: “New study shows that workplace inspections save lives, don't destroy jobs.”

4. Hazards Magazine ‘Safety in the Dock’:

5. We Didn’t Vote to Die at Work Leaflet: