news release



no embargo - 14 September 2007( Back to news releases)

Protest outside Construction Forum - “NO MORE DEATHS ON BUILDING SITES”

Protest outside Construction Forum at the Thistle Hotel, Charing Cross Rail Station 10 am on Monday 17th September

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) will join the Construction Safety Campaign and Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group outside the Thistle Hotel, Charing Cross Rail Station at 10am on Monday 17th September

FACK will attend the Forum as an observer, and also join the CSC protest outside at the almost 30% increase in construction deaths in 2005/06.

FACK welcomes the commitment of Peter Hain, Sec of State for Work and Pensions, to end the ‘macabre toll of rising death and injury in construction’ but warns that rapid and effective action needs to be taken to protect workers, and members of the public who are also at risk, from dangerous construction sites.

FACK want to stop ALL work-related deaths and are supporting this protest to make construction employers and the government aware that every preventable death is one too many, and unacceptable.

FACK founder member Linzi Herbertson whose husband was killed when he fell from incorrectly erected scaffolding, said:

“Peter Hain’s action in calling this summit and his determination to put an end to the rise in deaths on building sites is obviously very welcome, but we want action to be taken immediately. Employers are legally responsible for health and safety on site and must be left in no doubt that their failure to obey all health and safety law will be detected and punished. The government must sufficiently fund and resource the HSE to enforce the law on sites. Workers must be supported to report unsafe sites and negligent employers BEFORE someone is killed or injured. I would like to see a safety rep on every building site so workers are not forced to put their lives on the line or face the sack.”

FACK members Paul and Dawn Adams, construction professionals with over 40 years of experience of working on sites between them:

“Our son was not a worker, just visiting the newly constructed Trafford Centre on a family day out when he was killed at 6 years old in 1998 because employers had failed to heed the Constructions, Design and Management Regulations. In the years since then we have seen very little improvements on sites, there are good construction companies but there are many appalling ones and we want radical action to prevent other families suffering the terrible consequences of criminally negligent employers. The same old platitudes will not work and families like ours will not stand for it any more.”

Hilda Palmer FACK spokesperson added:

“A HSE press release on 11th Sept 2007 reports that ‘nearly 1 in 3 construction refurbishment sites inspected put the lives of workers at risk’ and ‘warns construction workers don’t take the risk’’”. We can’t have a HSE inspector on every site so the government must support individual workers, support the presence of a safety rep on every site or roving reps to cover many smaller sites, to change the appallingly negligent culture on far too many building sites. Young workers like Steven Burke, a trainee scaffolder killed at 17 years old, are especially at risk. Nothing less than radical action is needed, and soon.”

For more information contact FACK Hilda Palmer on 0161 636 7557

Fack members to contact:

·Linzi Herbertson : Mobile 07964410963 - husband Andrew killed when he fell from scaffold platform in Oldham in January 1998.

·Linda Whelan : Mobile 07919334793 - son Craig a steeplejack was killed when demolishing a chimney at Metal Box in Bolton 23rd May 2002, alongside colleague Paul Wakefield.

·Dawn and Paul Adams Mobiles 07947-252021, 07889 168350 - son Samuel was only 6 years old when he was killed by unsecured railing at the newly opened Trafford Shopping Centre in Manchester in October 1998.

·Bernard and Barbara Burke Mobile: 07887917764 son Steven, 17 trainee scaffolder killed in a fall from scaffolding on 30th January 2004

FACK was launched in July 2006 with the support of the Hazards Campaign to bring together families of those killed by work and give them one larger voice.

We have spoken at many public meetings and conferences, launched FACK at the STUC in Scotland, and participated in International Workers Memorial Day 28th April events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and Oldham. .FACK leaflet and information available on website