news release



no embargo - 28 August 2007( Back to news releases)

Families Against Corporate Killers angry at ICL Plastics and ICL Tech Limited Fines

FACK is outraged at the appallingly inadequate penalty of £400,000 fines imposed on ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Limited following their guilty plea to health and safety breaches. FACK spokesperson Hilda Palmer said:

“This case highlights the total inadequacy of the law and its application, as it stands. In cases of breaches of health and safety law heard in the higher courts, judges have the ability to impose unlimited fines. While no level of fine can adequately reflect the loss that these families have suffered, in order to have any justice and deterrent value, families of those killed by employers negligence have a right to expect large and significant fines. As a penalty this fine just does not cut it for justice or for deterrence- it’s a ‘business as usual’ slap in the face to the Stockline families and to all workers."

FACK feels directors should face custodial sentences when their gross negligence leads to people being blown up just for doing their jobs. We call on the Westminster government in the light of this terrible but preventable disaster, to honour commitments they made as long ago as 2000 (1) to make individual directors legally responsible for their companies health and safety failures. FACK lobbied ministers to include this measure in the recently passed Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill, but they refused.

However all of this is after the fact, after people have been killed. FACK supports the families of those killed and injured in the Stockline explosion for a full and open public inquiry. We need to know how this happened, how the HSE handled complaints by employees about poor health and safety at the non-unionised factory, how they used their enforcement powers to protect the workers and why the company was allowed to go on behaving badly. We demand protection for whistle blowers, and more powers for workers and trade union safety reps including roving reps to represent workers before they are injured, made ill or killed.”
We demand action by the government to honour those killed and their families and to protect all other workers at risk from negligent employers. We will hold the government to account if they do not act now. ”

For further information, please contact: Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557

FACK members

Dorothy Wright: Tel: 01475 670442, Mobile 07818442083.
Louise Adamson: Tel: 0131 271 4121 x4121 work mobile 07812 782 534
Linda Whelan : Tel 01388 745967, Mobile 07919334793.
Linzi Herbertson : Tel: 0161 681 8078 , Mobile 07790024379.

Notes to Editors

1. Revitalising Health and Safety : Strategy Statement June 2000HSC DETR
Action Point 11

“The HSC will develop a code of practice on Directors’ responsibilities for health and safety, in conjunction with stakeholders. It is intended that the code of practice will, in particular, stipulate that organisations should appoint an individual Directors for health and safety, or responsible person of similar status (for example in organisation where there is no board of Directors)

The Health and Safety Commission will also advise Ministers on how the law would need to be changed to make these responsibilities statutory so that Directors and responsible persons of similar status are clear about what is expected of them in their management of health and safety. It is the intention of Ministers, when Parliamentary time allows, to introduce legislation on these responsibilities.”