news release



no embargo - 12 Decemeber 2007( Back to news releases)

FACK urges government: act like Santa and fill up HSE’s stocking!

Families of people killed by work urge the government to act like Santa and give the HSE (and Local Authorities) an early Christmas present: all the resources they need to do an effective job of enforcing health and safety to save lives. Laws are useless without effective enforcement which gives employers the credible threat of being caught if they fall short.

In sending the HSE its own Christmas card today , FACK supports the demands of the Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group (1) in wishing the HSE gets a Christmas present of more resources. In light of the continuing spate of crane collapses – crane collapsed in Forest Hill yesterday – FACK agree it is only by sheer luck more people have not been killed, and that’s no way to run a safe country.

Linda Whelan, founder member of FACK whose son was killed in a construction incidents says:

“Public safety should be this government’s priority, it should not depend on luck. At the moment workers lives hang by a thin red thread as the government pays more attention to cutting red tape than strengthening worker protection. It’s employers who create the risks and their crimes which causes worker deaths, but they can only get away with it because the enforcement agencies are strapped for cash and can’t be proactive enough. Deaths in construction are at an appalling and unacceptable level. Despite crane safety and construction safety supposedly being made a priority, crane collapses and construction deaths keep on happening. FACK wants the government to make our Christmas wishes for safer work come true by providing the HSE with more resources to catch the safety criminals before they kill more people.”

In the New Year, FACK will be responding to the call for evidence from the Work and Pensions Select Committee into the work of the Health and Safety Commission and .Executive. FACK will make it clear that the HSE is not doing a good enough job now, and do not see how it can it do better if it faces even more resource cuts.

For more information FACK - Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557

1. Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group (BCDAG) - Julia Brandreth Tel 07940 578219 BCDAG and supporters will go to the HSE offices at Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS from 8am – 10am on Thursday 13th December to wish the HSE a Merry Christmas and “more resources please” for the New Year.