On 11 May 2004, nine workers were killed and more than thirty-three injured in an explosion at the ICL Plastics plant of Grovepark Mills in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland.

 


DEADLY BUSINESS FEATURES


It's worse than murder
Chris Knoop died in a workplace explosion. The directors of the company responsible didn’t turn up for the court case. And the fine was just £2. It's no wonder deaths at work outstrip murders by two to one.

Hazards, issue 103, August 2008

Relative justice
It took a five year campaign before Anthea and Peter Dennis got company boss Roy Clark to admit the workplace manslaughter of their teenage son, Daniel. Clark got 10 months. Daniel’s family got a ‘life sentence’.

Hazards, issue 102, May 2008

Get justice
When a worker dies, someone should pay. But as a new manslaughter law takes effect, a Hazards poster warns it takes more than a law to get justice.
Hazards poster, issue 102, May 2008

Food flavour wrecks lungs
When dozens of US popcorn workers had their lungs destroyed by a flavouring chemical, it caused a national scandal. But it was seen as a US problem. It wasn’t, as Yorkshire factory worker Martin Muir can now testify. Hazards issue 101, February 2008

Why did they die?
It was not just the ICL/Stockline factory that was ‘a ticking timebomb.’ A major inquiry into the blast that destroyed the Glasgow factory, killed nine and maimed dozens of others will hear evidence the system regulating workplace safety in the UK is in a serious state of disrepair.
Hazards, issue 100, November 2007

What gorilla?
The resource-starved Health and Safety Executive can no longer investigate some of the most serious workplace injuries. Fatalities are rising. HSE needs help. It just doesn’t seem to see it. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill says not only is HSE failing, it is shunning its best possible ally – trade union safety reps.
Hazards, issue 99, August 2007

Cross words
As workplace deaths rise dramatically and the Health and Safety Executive’s austerity programme leaves it haemorrhaging staff, mothballing work programmes and shutting offices, Hazards looks for clues on what unions – snubbed and so far refused any new rights by HSE after its worker involvement consultation - should do next.
Hazards, issue 98, May 2007

Beyond prison?
Some of Britain’s biggest companies have seriously neglected their safety responsibilities, with deadly consequences. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill asks how bad it has to get before a top boss ends up behind bars.
Hazards, issue 97, February 2007

HSE is broke
The official safety watchdog is broke, can’t do its job and is haemorrhaging staff. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill predicts over-stretched and under-protected workers will soon get sick of being fed the government’s healthy lifestyle and “work is good for you” line.
Hazards, issue 96, November 2006

Come clean
HSE top brass say the enforcement-lite safety watchdog is performing well. But Hazards reveals HSE is facing a deepening crisis, with workplace inspections hitting a new low and HSE inspectors rapidly becoming an endangered species.

Hazards, issue 95, August 2006

 

Sure, we'll be safe
What would criminals think if the knew the police presence had dropped by over 25 per cent in three years, and more cuts were planned? That’s exactly what has happened at the workplace, where Health and Safety Executive (HSE) workplace inspections have plummeted to a new low and HSE is increasingly relying on companies to just say they’ll be safe.
Hazards, issue 94, May 2006


Protection racket
Britain has got one of the most unregulated economies in the industrial world. Tony Blair says so. But his government is still embarking on a dangerous deregulation exercise that could remove essential safety protections, says Hazards editor Rory O’Neill.

Hazards, issue 91, August 2005


The case for jailing dangerous directors
If directors faced the prospect of a jail term or even the loss of their boardroom seats for poor safety performance, then safety might be a more pressing corporate concern. As it is, they don’t even lose their bonuses.

Hazards, issue 90, May 2005


Making safety dangerous again
Safety controls are being undermined at work, and it's the safety watchdog that is responsible. As the UK drops down the world's safety rankings, Hazards looks at the dangerous thinking behind its policy shift.
Hazards, issue 88, November 2004


Getting away with murder
Every week an average of five workers are killed at work. Almost all of these are the result of management failures, and all of them are avoidable. Frances O'Grady, TUC's deputy general secretary, says bosses guilty of safety crimes must face justice.

Hazards, issue 87, August 2004 [pdf]


Sold out
The government says HSC's new safety blueprint is a "radical new strategy." Business loves its hands off, no hassle, no commitments language. But for you and me, the new strategy offers nothing new and abandons hard won protections.
Hazards, issue 86, May 2004


 

Death sentences
Later this year the UK government says it will publish a draft corporate killing bill... Not a law, just another consultation.
Hazards, issue 83, August 2003 [pdf]


 

Global work death toll
About two million people are killed by their work every year. This latest global estimate comes from the International Labour Office (ILO) - and it says that's just a small part of the carnage at work, says Jukka Takala, Director of ILO's SafeWork programme.

Hazards 81, January-March 2003


Criminal neglect
Average annual pay of Britain's top bosses. 1.5 million. Average fine for workplace safety offences, 12,194. Do the maths. Hazards argues that small fines alone are not an adequate deterrent for Britain's workplace safety criminals.
Hazards, issue 81, February 2003 [pdf] • The writing's on the wall


Deadly business
If you kill, maim or hurt someone, you can expect to go to jail. Except if you employ that someone. Unions worldwide say employers shouldn't be allowed to get away with this workplace assault - and have the workplace safety criminals in their sights. TUC's Owen Tudor reports.
Hazards, issue 80, November 2002 [pdf]



 

Making employers accountable
The global trade union movement has decided to make corporate accountability for workers' health and safety the theme for International Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April 2003. On the day when trade unionists around the world remember the people who have died because of their work, this TUC/Hazards guide calls for those responsible to be held to account.
Hazards, issue 80, November 2002
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In-depth features on corporate health and safety crimes from Hazards magazine