FACK Families to meet Professor Lofstedt over health & safety review

Report by Hilda Palmer
Published: 22/07/11

Families Against Corporate Killers
c/o Hazards Campaign, Windrush Millennium Centre,
70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD Tel 0161 636 7557


Face the FACKs: WE bear the burden NOT business!

Families Against Corporate Killers meet Professor Lofstedt on 25th July DWP, Caxton House, Tothill Street

Representatives of Familes Against Corporate Killers (1) will meet with Professor Lofstedt who has been tasked with reviewing health and safety legislation by Chris Grayling, Minister at DWP, under the ’removing burdens on business’ agenda. FACK members will explain that the Lofstedt Review (2) must be based on the truth, which is that victims of employers crimes pay the price for employers’ negligence rather than business bearing the burden (3).

FACK co-founder Dawn Adams said: “When we meet Professor Lofstedt as part of his review, we will explain the facts about the real burden of health and safety failures which we as families of people killed by employers’ negligence have to bear. The reality is that far more people are killed and harmed by work than is publicised by government or reported in press and it is victims, their families and the state that pay the vast majority of the burden of employers failing to comply with safety laws, while they bear less than 25% of the cost of the harm they cause! (3, 4) These incredible facts seem to be invisible while the bleating of business that protecting workers’ safety and health is a terrible burden underpins this review while our pain and suffering is unheard. We need Professor Lofstedt to hear the truth from us, the victims of employers’ crimes who bear the real burden, so his review is not based on the ’health and safety is a burden on business lie.“

Linda Whelan another co-founder member of FACK said: “None of our family members was killed by too much regulation or employers fearing enforcement. They were killed because of the exact opposite too little if any time spent on health and safety, and no fear of being found out. It now feels like we are living in Alice in Wonderland where cutting health and safety regulation and slashing the numbers of those who enforce it, is supposed to make everything magically better! How reducing requirements on employers and almost completely removing any credible threat that they might be inspected and found out by proactive inspections BEFORE they kill, maim, or make someone very ill, can improve what we know is a pitifully inadequate system, is completely beyond us (5).“

Linzi Herbertson co-founder said: “Meeting professor Lofsted is an opportunity to put our case , but we still fail to understand how the minister in charge of slashing the health and safety net, cannot find time to meet us who represent those who will be most affected. It seems that the minister, Mr Grayling, will discuss his plans to remove workplace safety accountability with every business lobby organisation going. Why not with us, the people that pay the price? We ask MR. Grayling to Face the FACKs! (6)“

More information contact Hilda Palmer 079298 00240, Linzi Herbertson 07709 053176; Dawn Adams 0789 1553915

Notes to editors

1 FACK. Families Against Corporate Killers was set up in 2006 (see www.fack.org) to campaign against deaths caused by employers’ negligence. DVD ’Face the FACKs:the human cost of workplace killing’ available from: www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/fack/resources/facethefacks.pdf. See Founder FACK stories below.

2. Lofstedt Review: www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/lofstedt-tor.pdf

3. 2008 HSE analysis estimated that less than a quarter of the costs of work-related injuries and ill-health is borne by the employers ’Although the costs are attributable to the activities of the business. . . the bulk of the cost fell ’externally on individuals and society. ’ The costs to employers in Britain of workplace injuries and work-related ill health in 2005/06, HSE Discussion Paper Series, No. 002, September 2008 [pdf]. www.hse.gov.uk/economics

4. ’The Whole Story’ - Hazards Campaign estimates of the real toll of workplaces harm which is up to 1, 500 killed in workplace incidents and up to 50, 000 by work-related illness each year: www.gmhazards.org.uk/The%20Whole%20Story%20SHP%20December%202008.doc

5. For the reality about workplace deaths, regulation and who pays the price see latest We didn’t vote to Die at Work pages in Hazards magazine: www.hazards.org/votetodie

A government regulatory impact assessment in 2006 estimated the total annual cost of non-asbestos occupational cancer deaths (each cancer death costing 2. 46 million each, Defra assessment for REACH) at between 3billion and 12. 3 billion which is 8 to 33 times what the British Chambers of Commerce claims it cost to implement health and safety in one year. A 2008 HSE economics briefing put the total cost of each occupational fatality at 1. 5 million which, taking the Hazards Campaign estimate of up to 1, 500 per year comes to over 2. 2 billion alone plus the cost of non-fatal injuries and ill health and the cost is well over the annual 374 million costs BCC claim. Economic Analysis Unit (EAU) appraisal values, HSE, July 2008 [pdf]. www. hse. gov. uk/economics

6. Minister Chris Grayling in June parliamentary answer to Ian Lavery MP claimed employers failure to manage health and safety cost around 20 billion per year but that is the lower end of a ten year old HSE estimate of 20 to 31. 8 billion per annum, and excludes cancers and long latency diseases, which even using HSE’s own gross under estimates of over 8, 000 occupational cancer deaths per year, would cost over 20 billion alone!


Founder FACK members say “We set up FACK in 2006, because employers failure to comply with health and safety laws killed people we love, read our stories which are just the tip of the iceberg to understand why we need strong health and safety law, strictly enforced, see our DVD

’Face the FACKs; the human cost of workplace killing. ’ www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/fack/resources/facethefacks.pdf

“My son Craig Whelan (23) and his fellow steeple jack Paul Wakefield were killed in an explosion when managers signed a permit to work using hot cutting gear to dismantle a metal chimney despite being advised this was too dangerous yet escaped a manslaughter prosecution.“ Linda Whelan

“Our son Mark Wright (37) was killed in an explosion when he was told by his manger to bale aerosol containers despite a risk assessment and the baler’s manual forbidding this, but the manger and company escaped manslaughter prosecutions.“ Dorothy and Douglas Wright.

“My husband Andy Herbertson (29) was killed when he fell as he was dismantling a printing machine using an incorrectly assembled scaffolding without training or protective measure and I had to turn off his life support machine on our son’s 8th birthday. The fine and costs came to less than 10, 000.“ Linzi Herbertson.

“Our 17 year old son Lewis Murphy was killed in an explosion when transferring petrol and diesel to a waste tank and fumes were sucked into the flue of gas boiler, in a garage where the employer believed health and safety was ’just common sense’ and had no safe procedures set up.“ Bet and Mick Murphy.

“My brother Michael Adamson (26) was electrocuted when a live wire had not been isolated but was marked out of use.“ Louise Taggart.

“Our son Samuel Adams was 6 when he was killed at a shopping centre by a heavy barrier that was unrestrained.“ Paul and Dawn Adams

“Our son Andrew Hutin was 20 when he was killed with colleagues as a faulty blast furnace blew up at Corus. They were fined 1. 3 million plus 1. 7 million costs but got a brand new 75 million blast furnace.“ Mike and Lynne Hutin.

Hilda Palmer
Facilititator of Families Against Corporate Killers
Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
Manchester M16 7WD