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Britain: Fine after guard is crushed to death
A South Yorkshire haulage firm has been fined £20,000 after safety breaches led to the death of a security guard on its premises more than two years ago. Insurers for E Pawson and Son Ltd are also expected to make a substantial compensation payout to the widow of nightwatchman John Cavill, aged 54, of Maltby, who was crushed to death when a heavy metal gate at the company's staff car park fell off its runners.
Sheffield Star
Hazards news, 22 December 2007

Britain: Child’s heartache over dad’s death
The heartbroken daughter of a casual labourer who fell to his death after his boss cut corners to save cash has said all she wants for Christmas is her father back. Iris Savage told Derby’s Evening Telegraph newspaper the death of her son, Nathan had left his seven-year-old daughter, Connie, devastated.
Evening TelegraphBBC News Online
Hazards news, 22 December 2007

Italy: Steel deaths prompt strike and safety call
Thousands of metalworkers downed tools and took to the streets of Turin on 10 December to protest against work-related injuries, after four workers died in a fire at a steel mill. The tragedy, at a plant owned by German multinational ThyssenKrupp, caused an outcry in Italy, which has a fatality rate above the European Union average.
Yahoo FinanceIMF news release
Hazards news, 15 December 2007

China: Mine explosion kills 105
Chinese officials say 105 miners are now known to have died in an explosion in a coal mine in Shanxi province in northern China on 6 December. State media said the managers of the mine have been arrested for causing the tragedy by mining a coal seam that had not been authorised for production.
China government news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 15 December 2007

Britain: Boss jailed after death cover-up attempt
Company boss Steven Christopher Smith from north Wales has been jailed for two and a half years for manslaughter and perverting the course of justice after the death of employee Paul Christopher Alker, 33, in a workplace fall. Smith did not provide the right harnesses, but after Mr Alker plunged to his death, he went out and bought the safety equipment, put them on the roof, and blamed Mr Alker for not using it.
HSE news releaseDaily Post
Hazards news, 8 December 2007

Britain: Fine for amusement park death
The former operators of an amusement park have been fined £95,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,000 over the death of a maintenance worker. Pleasureland Ltd had pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws after the work fatality in the Southport park in 2004.

HSE news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 1 December 2007

Ukraine: A hundred feared dead in mine blast
At least 90 miners died in an 18 November blast at a mine in Ukraine, making it the worst mining accident in the nation's history, officials say. The explosion, caused by a build-up of methane gas, occurred more than 1,000m (3,280ft) below ground in the Zasiadko coalmine, in Donetsk, East Ukraine.
ITUC news release
BBC News Online and related photographs
Hazards news, 24 November 2007

Britain: Wimpey fined £300,000 over trench tragedy
George Wimpey (North East) Ltd has been fined £300,000 after a trench collapse in which Neil Dunstan, 41, employed by a sub-contractor was crushed to death. George Wimpey’s parent company, Taylor Wimpey – Britain’s largest house builder - had a revenue of £2,671.9 million in the first six months of 2007; its first half profits before tax were £140.9 million.
HSE news releaseTaylor Wimpey Interim Results Statement 2007Northern Echo
Hazards news, 24 November 2007

UAE: Seven die in Dubai bridge collapse
A bridge under construction in Dubai has collapsed, killing seven workers and injuring 15, police have said. The bridge was being built in Dubai Marina, a new development in the United Arab Emirates city which is a regional business and tourism hub.
BBC News OnlineAl Jazeera
Hazards news, 17 November 2007

Britain: Port fined over youngster's death
A port authority has been fined a total of £100,000 over the death of a boy aged six, crushed by a giant paper roll. Harry Palmer died when the unsecured reel of newsprint fell on him from a forklift at Tilbury Docks in Essex.
HSE news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 17 November 2007

Britain: Family hits out after death fine
The family of a man crushed to death in an industrial incident has expressed disappointment with the £30,000 fine levied on the company. Michael Joyce, 51, was killed after climbing inside a machine during his shift at the Freudenberg Technical Products plant in North Tyneside, on 15 October 2005.
News Guardian
Hazards news, 17 November 2007

USA: Families demand work deaths justice
Widows, parents, children and other family members of victims of workplace fatalities and occupational diseases in the USA are demanding a ‘Family Bill of Rights’. It outlines 10 simple rights that should be afforded those left behind when a worker dies on the job, including: Information on the role of official agencies in investigating the death; notifying family members of all meetings, hearings and other communication between investigators and the employer and allowing participation in such events; allowing family members the right to view all physical evidence gathered as part of the accident investigation, and ensuring that the evidence is secured from employer tampering; and involving family members in the investigation process, such as allowing them an opportunity to offer names of individuals who may have useful evidence for the investigators.
Family Bill of Rights news release
[pdf] • The Family Bill of Rights can be downloaded from the USMWF and Defending Science [pdf] websites
Hazards new
s, 3 November 2007

Global: BP gets record fine and probation
The US Department of Justice has fined UK-based oil multinational BP a total of $373m (£182m), for breaking environmental and safety rules and committing fraud. The fines include $50m relating to the Texas refinery explosion in 2005 that killed 15 people and injured 180 more, with this penalty also including three years probation.
BP news releaseEPA news releaseThe Pump HandleMore on BP’s safety record

Hazards news, 3 November 2007

Britain: Unions want more than guidance
Unions have welcomed new guidance from the Institute of Directors (IoD), but have said there should also be legal safety duties on directors. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson welcomed thte guide, but said “we need a clear legal duty on directors” and Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, said: “Government is right to say there is an obligation on employers but instead of that being moral and ethical, in other words voluntary, it should be compulsory and enshrined in law.”
Unite news release
Hazards news, 3 November 2007

Britain: Directors publish voluntary code
Company directors have published their own voluntary guidelines to good boardroom safety practice. The Institute of Directors (IoD) says the new guidance will remind directors it is their responsibility to lead on health and safety and establish policies and practices that make it an integral part of their culture and values.
HSE news release and new director leadership webpages
Hazards news, 3 November 2007

Britain: Directors must be made to be safe
Boardrooms must be compelled to take workplace health and safety seriously, a new union-backed report has concluded. ‘Bringing justice to the boardroom’, prepared for construction union UCATT by the Centre for Corporate Accountability, says there has been a “complete failure” of the voluntary approach to reducing injuries and fatalities in the workplace.
UCATT news release and full reportCCA news release and background materials
Hazards news, 3 November 2007

Britain: Another tragedy at deadly Corus plant
A 46-year-old contract worker has died in an incident at Corus's Port Talbot works. Robert Gillard was operating a tipper truck when the vehicle overturned; he was employed by international contractor Multiserv.
BBC News OnlineMore on Corus’ safety record
Hazards news, 10 November 2007

Britain: Widow ‘disgusted’ by inquest verdict
The widow of a worker killed by a falling platform at Wembley Stadium has said she is “disgusted” by a verdict of accidental death at his inquest. Carpenter Patrick O'Sullivan, 54, died after a platform landed on him from more than 300ft while he was working on the construction of the new Wembley Stadium in January 2004.
Harrow Times
Hazards news, 10 November 2007

Britain: Outrage at ‘paltry’ bakery death fines
Campaigners have denounced “paltry” fines totalling £33,500 imposed on two companies after the death of an agency worker. Father-of-four Graham Meldrum, 40, died after being hit by a faulty tail-lift on his truck at the former Allied Bakery plant in Maryhill, Glasgow.
STUC news release FACK news release
Hazards news, 10 November 2007

USA: Beware of ‘good news’ on work injuries
Did incidents of workplace illness and injury in the US decline last year? The US national union federation AFL-CIO says the figures are misleading – they are flawed because they are based on employer reports and come as a consequence of a change in the reporting rules.
AFL-CIO Now BlogThe Pump Handle
Hazards news, 27 October 2007

China: Dozens die in shoe factory fire
A fire erupted at an unlicensed shoe factory in Fujian province, China, on 21 October, killing 37 people in the latest industrial tragedy to hit the world's fourth largest economy, officials and state media said. None of the 56 workers escaped unhurt; some of the survivors are in a critical condition.
China DailyThe GuardianSpecial Salt Lake Tribune series on health and safety in China, by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Loretta Tofani
Hazards news, 27 October 2007

Britain: Call for Scottish action on work deaths
Campaign organisation Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) is to push for corporate safety crimes measures in Scotland that go beyond those in the UK-wide Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, due to take effect in April next year. It says the exclusion of explicit directors’ duties from this law was “a huge disappointment”.
FACK news releaseFACK website
Hazards news, 27 October 2007

Canada: Dangerous bosses better off after fines
Unsafe employers in Ontario are making money by exploiting weaknesses in a system supposed to penalise those with bad health and safety records, union research has revealed. An Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) report criticises the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) ‘experience rating’ system that adjusts insurance premium rates based on an employer’s claims history.
OFL news release The perils of experience rating: Exposed! [pdf]
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Brazil: Union leader murdered after safety probe
A leading Brazilian construction union leader was followed and murdered after investigating poor safety standards on a site. Aparecido Galvão, known as ‘China’, was president of construction union CONTICOM and had previously received threats from contractors.
BWI statement
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Britain: New guides to work killings law
The government and the Health and Safety Executive have each published guidance on the new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which will come into force on 6 April 2008.

Ministry of Justice news release and Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 webpageHSE corporate manslaughter webpage
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Britain: HSE warning after vehicle death
A major transport firm has received a six-figure fine after the death of Derek Howe, 56, a Wirral lorry driver. TNT Logistics UK Ltd was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £28,184.75 after pleading guilty at Manchester Crown Court to workplace safety offences.
HSE news release and revamped workplace transport webpages
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Britain: Payouts only ease financial misery
Construction union UCATT has secured six figure payouts on behalf of the families of two workers killed at work, but says cash is no real recompense and can only ease the financial misery. In May 2002 the two steeplejacks, Paul Wakefield and Craig Whelan, were killed in a chimney fireball at the Metal Box plant in Bolton.
UCATT news release
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

Britain: Manslaughter charge over teen death
The father of a teenager who fell to his death within a week of starting work has welcomed a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute his employer for manslaughter and has thanked his union GMB for its backing.
Thompsons Solicitors news release
Hazards news, 20 October 2007

USA: Five die in tunnel blaze
Five workers who died after becoming trapped by a tunnel fire at a hydroelectric power plant tried to fight the blaze, but the fire extinguishers were the wrong type, one of the widows has said. The workers died last week in an Xcel Energy plant in Georgetown, Colorado.
Chemical Safety Board news releaseThe Pump Handle
Hazards news, 13 October 2007

Britain: Director gets small fine after fall death
A company director has escaped with a small fine after admitting safety offences linked to the death of worker George Taylor, 29. RTAL Ltd was fined £25,000 with £5,000 costs and managing director Terry Green was fined £2,500 and costs of £500, at Basildon Crown Court.
HSE news release
Hazards news, 13 October 2007

Britain: Mum wants action not compensation
The daughter and girlfriend of a steeplejack killed by a fireball as he worked demolishing a 60-metre high chimney have received £335,000 compensation in a UCATT-backed case. Father-of-one Craig Whelan – whose mother, Linda, is a founder member of Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) - was just 23 when he died while working on the chimney at Carnaud Metal Box Plc's Bolton factory in May 2002.
FACK news release
Hazards news, 13 October 2007

Britain: Pizza chef stabbed to death
A murder investigation has been launched after a pizza chef was stabbed to death with his own kitchen knife in Clapham, south London. In the UK, murders while working are not included in workplace fatality figures, which also exclude deaths in road traffic accidents while working and work deaths investigated by other enforcement authorities, including the Civil Aviation Authority and the Marine Standards Agency.
This is local LondonUS NIOSH guidance on occupational violence
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Britain: Firm fined £100,000 after site death
Civil engineering and piling firm Dawson-Wam has been fined £100,000 after an employee died dismantling a piling rig. John Walsh was killed in September 2002 when the auger drive unit of the rig flew off its stand and struck him.
Contract Journal
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Britain: ICL inquiry welcomed by campaigners
Unions, safety experts and the ICL/Stockline families group have welcomed the news there will be a full public inquiry into the blast. STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: “Clearly, we need to await the publication of the full remit of the inquiry but as the families have said to Peter Hain, they need to know why their loved ones died, why certain actions were not taken to properly assess the condition of the buried pipework, and did the Health and Safety Executive’s enforcement strategy and lack of resources prevent adequate inspection of this company and also many other small businesses where workers may be at risk.”
STUC news release Universities of Strathclyde and Stirling expert group news releaseStatement from the ICL/Stockline families
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Britain: Factory blast inquiry will probe regulators
A public inquiry into the Stockline factory blast in Glasgow is to be set up jointly by the Scottish and UK governments, it has been announced. Secretary of state for work and pensions Peter Hain said the ICL/Stockline families group had “made it clear to me that they want to see the role that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) played in regulating these premises prior to the incident is fully investigated”, adding that “I fully support them on this point.”
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service news releaseDWP news releaseICL/Stockline campaign website
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Britain: Dangerous directors must be ‘personally liable’
Safety duties on company directors are the key to reducing serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace, the union Unite has said. Speaking at the Labour Party conference, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “We want to see included in the corporate manslaughter law a secondary duty on directors and senior managers, which means if they are directly responsible for corporate manslaughter they too can be held liable, and if necessary put behind bars.”
Unite news release • Hazard deadly business news and resources
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Vietnam: Dozens killed in bridge collapse
A section of a bridge under construction in southern Vietnam collapsed on 26 September, killing dozens of workers. Casualty figures are uncertain, but some reports say up to 60 workers died and 150 were injured.
The AgeBBC News Online
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

India: Deadly neglect in a Bangalore factory
An Indian garment worker who fell ill at work and had to wait hours for permission to leave her workplace, died in hospital later that day, the global union representing workers in the sector has revealed. It says the tragedy bears a striking resemblance to a incident that occurred at the same factory just three months ago, in which a pregnant worker lost her baby after she gave birth unassisted outside the factory gates after being denied assistance when she went into labour during her shift.
ITGLWF news release
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Small fines for workplace crimes
Large fines for safety offences remain the exception, as recent cases illustrate. Carole Ann Hible, trading as removal company 'Specialised Movers', received fines totalling £9,000 with £4,335 costs after the death of an employee, with Market Drayton Magistrates giving credit for her prompt guilty plea and dealt with the case themselves, rather than in Crown Court where higher penalties are available.
HSE news release
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Six figure fine after “avoidable” death
A company has received a six figure fine after 20-year-old worker Joshua Beswick was killed in a “totally avoidable” incident at a building materials yard. Merseyside firm Grundy and Co Excavations Ltd was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £9,034 costs at Warrington Crown Court after pleading guilty to safety offences.
HSE news release
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Call to treat site deaths as real crimes
Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) has called for the real possibility of jail terms for employers after serious safety crimes lead to a workplace death. The campaign group was commenting after a site foreman and building company director from A & A Building Services were fined a total of £20,000 on charges relating to the death of worker Alex Hayden, 28, who was crushed by a truck.
Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) news release and websiteHSE news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Three more die offshore
Three more workers have died in offshore, but none of these fatalities will be included in the Health and Safety Executive’s occupational fatality figures. The men died after an incident on a gas rig standby vessel in the North Sea, Vroon Offshore Services, operators of the Viking Islay, said.
BBC News Online and follow up story
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Wide support for ICL/Stockline inquiry
Unions and health and safety experts have backed a call by HSE union Prospect for a full inquiry into the ILC/Stockline disaster.
STUC news releaseStatement from the authors of the ICL/Disaster report
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: HSE union calls for ICL disaster inquiry
The union representing staff in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has called for a public inquiry into the ICL/Stockline factory explosion in Glasgow in May 2004 that killed nine workers and seriously injured 40.
Prospect news releaseBBC News OnlineICL/Stockline disaster website
Hazards news, 29 September 2007

Britain: Firms fined after worker's death
Two Wiltshire companies have been fined after admitting safety breaches which resulted in the death of a worker. TH White Installations of Devizes and RF Stratton and Company, owners of Manor Farm, Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire, were each fined £35,000 and £8,000 costs.
Bath ChronicleBBC News Online
Hazards news, 22 September 2007

Britain: Hain vows to stop site deaths surge
An action plan to cut workplace deaths and improve health and safety standards has been agreed by representatives of the construction industry and the trade unions. Secretary of state for work and pensions Peter Hain convened the forum, which agreed measures including encouraging worker involvement, ensuring all projects include trades union and worker representatives and to take steps to drive out the informal economy in the sector.
DWP news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 22 September 2007

Britain: Campaign tells Hain to act on site deaths
Cabinet minister Peter Hain has called for government and industry to work together to reduce fatalities in the construction industry. However, the Construction Safety Campaign is to protest outside a 17 September construction safety forum called b Hain to make known its “disgust at the government's killer cuts agenda.”
DWP news releaseHazards health and safety enforcement news and resources
Hazards news, 15 September 2007

USA: Committee maps out deadly work causes
A top US government committee has called for a national commitment to stop occupational injuries and ill-health. US Representative George Miller, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee marked Labor Day, 3 September, with the launch of a new interactive online map that enables people to learn about many of the workplace fatalities that have occurred in their own communities this year.
US House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor news release. Interactive map of work fatalities Hazards news, 8 September 2007

USA: Mine tragedy was ‘an unnatural disaster’
The coal mine collapse last month that killed six miners and three more workers involved in a rescue attempt was ‘an unnatural disaster’, a US commentator has said. The Mountain Eagle’s Tom Bethell, in a 29 August editorial, said: “Robert Murray, a mine owner obviously in need of clinical help, insisted from day one that the August 6 cave-in at his Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah was a natural disaster, triggered by an earthquake that no one could have anticipated.”
The Pump Handle • Federal Register, volume 68, page 53041, 9 September 2003 [pdf]AFL-CIO Now update on Senate hearings into the Crandall mine disaster
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

Britain: HSE warns HGV operators after injury fine
Heavy goods vehicles operators risk a fine if they don’t take safety seriously, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said. The warning came after Tow Law-based WE & I Wright Limited was prosecuted and fined £4,000 with £2,500 costs following an investigation into a serious injury sustained by an employee who was crushed between reversing heavy goods vehicles.
HSE news release and workplace transport webpages
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

Britain: Developers fined over dumper truck death
A construction company has been ordered to pay £43,715 in fines and costs after one of its employees died on a Salisbury building site in 2003. Castleway Developments Ltd admitted at Salisbury Crown Court to failing to ensure the safety of its employees, after 62-year-old George Rogers was killed when he was catapulted from a dumper truck, which then ran over his body.
Salisbury Journal
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

Britain: Rail firm admits Grayrigg crash blame
The faulty points that caused a fatal crash in Cumbria should have been inspected five days earlier, a rail industry report has revealed. An 84-year-old woman was killed and 22 people injured when the London to Glasgow Virgin Pendolino plunged off the track at Grayrigg in February.
Network Rail news release and report summary [pdf]
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

Britain: Mother in legal action over inquiry delay
A grieving mother is taking legal action against Scotland’s Lord Advocate over delays in mounting an inquiry into her partner's death two years ago. Karen Thomson, 46, has been fighting for more than two years to learn the facts surrounding the death of her partner of eight years, Graham Meldrum.
The Herald
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

Britain: Blast report slams ICL and official oversight
The disaster at a Glasgow plastics factory was caused by years of neglect by the company that ran it and by the government safety watchdog meant to regulate it, according to a research report. Eight experts from four universities have condemned ICL Plastics and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to prevent the gas explosion on 11 May 2004, which killed nine workers.
Universities of Strathclyde and Stirling news release and ICL/Stockline disaster website
Hazards news, 8 September 2007

China: ‘Comfort money’ after 181 miners die
The families of 181 miners presumed dead after two pits were flooded on 17 August have each received 2,000 yuan (£132) in “comfort money” from local officials. A team of officials paid 2,000 yuan to each bereaved family plus an additional 200 yuan (£13) to each individual family member.
Hong Kong StandardChina Labour Bulletin
Hazards news, 1 September 2007

Britain: Dangerous demolition firms warned on risks
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned demolition companies they must investigate risks prior to starting work or they could invite tragedy and an appearance before the courts. The HSE statement came after Central Demolition Limited of Bonnybridge, Scotland, was fined £50,000 after pleading guilty to safety offences relating to an incident in which employee Gideon Irvine, 44, died.
HSE news release
Hazards news, 1 September 2007

Britain: Corporate code is ‘a criminals’ charter’
Moves to slash red tape could weaken the Health and Safety Executive's authority to inspect premises and tackle careless employers, ministers have been warned. A draft Code of Practice for Regulators, which will apply to the Health and Safety Commission and Executive and will have the force of law, needs significant changes to avoid being a ‘Charter for corporate criminals,’ the Centre for Corporate Accountability (CCA) has told the Cabinet Office’s Better Regulation Executive.
CCA news release • A Code of Practice for Regulators – A Consultation, Cabinet Office: draft code [pdf] and Better Regulation Executive webpages

Hazards news, 1 September 2007

Britain: Call for tougher laws after fatal blast
Demands for tougher laws to enable company directors to be prosecuted following fatal accidents resurfaced in the aftermath of the ICL/Stockline trial. Trade unions and families of workers killed said the penalties were insufficient and called for a public inquiry.
STUC news releaseFACK news release
Hazards news, 1 September 2007

Britain: ICL fined £400,000 over factory explosion
Two companies have been fined a total of £400,000 over the explosion that destroyed the Stockline factory in Glasgow and killed nine workers and injured 40 others. ICL Plastics and ICL Tech had pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation, admitting four offences that led to the explosion at their factory on 11 May 2004.
Hazards ICL/Stockline disaster webpages
Hazards news, 1 September 2007

USA: Cintas faces record fine after dryer death
US official safety watchdog OSHA has proposed fining work uniform supplier Cintas Corp. $2.78 million (£1.4m) after a worker in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was trapped in an operating industrial dryer and died of trauma and heat injuries. Eleazar Torres Gomez, 46, was killed in March when he fell into the dryer while clearing a jam of wet laundry on a conveyor that carries laundry from the washer into the dryer.
OSHA news releaseUNITE HERE news release and Uniform justice! campaign
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

Saudi Arabia: Migrant domestics killed by employers
The killing of two Indonesian domestic workers by their employers in Saudi Arabia highlights the Saudi government’s ongoing failure to hold employers accountable for serious abuses, campaign group Human Rights Watch has said. The brutal beatings by these employers also left two other Indonesian domestic workers critically injured.
Human Rights Watch news release
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

Mexico: Strike at deathtrap copper pit
Deep drifts of powdery rock dust blocking exit routes, exposed wiring and missing machine covers and fire extinguishers are some of the sights that greet visitors to Mexico's largest copper mine. About 3,000 miners at the Cananea copper pit, who laid down their tools on 30 July in a strike partly over safety conditions, accuse mine owner Grupo Mexico of not investing in maintenance despite sky-high copper prices.
International Herald Tribune
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

Britain: Campaign pushes for crane deaths justice
An official safety investigation into a crane collapse which killed two almost a year ago should report soon so bereaved families can pursue justice, campaigners have said.
BCDAG news release • Ceremonies to remember Michael Alexa and Jonathan Cloke will be held at the crane collapse site on Thessaly Rd on the first anniversary of the tragedy, 26 September, from 7.30am-8am and 5.30pm–6pm
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

Britain: Stockline firms admit safety charges
The operators of a Glasgow plastics factory where nine people died in an explosion three years ago have pleaded guilty to health and safety charges. ICL Tech Ltd and ICL Plastics admitted four charges at the High Court in Glasgow last week.
STUC news releaseFACK news releaseUNITE news release • BBC News Online on the guilty plea and the families’ statement
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

Britain: Site deaths head for six-year high
Deaths on construction sites this year could top last year’s five year high, new figures suggest. Construction union UCATT said so far this year 29 site deaths have been reported - at the current rate, moving into the more dangerous winter months, the final death count risks topping last year's figure of 77.
UCATT news releaseContract Journal
Hazards news, 25 August 2007

USA: Latest disaster exposes lax mine safety
Former US mine safety officials believe the work methods used at a Utah mine where six miners have been trapped underground for over a week were so dangerous that they question why federal regulators approved them. The prospects for six coal miners, trapped underground since the 6 August cave-in, look increasingly slim.
Salt Lake City Tribune and story updateThe Militant
More on the union safety effect
Hazards news, 18 August 2007

Somalia: IFJ condemns ‘savage’ killing of journalists
The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) has demanded urgent international action to confront the targeting and killing of journalists in Somalia following a brutal double attack in which one media chief was shot dead and another killed only hours later in a car bombing while returning from the funeral of the first victim.
IFJ news release
Hazards news, 18 August 2007

China: Many workers dead after bridge collapse
Dozens of people were killed and dozens injured when a bridge collapsed this week while under construction in the town of Fenghuang, in China's Hunan province. There were 123 workers on the bridge removing scaffolding at the time of the incident, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
XinhuaBBC News Online
Hazards news, 18 August 2007

USA: Boss used homeless to remove asbestos
A US contractor who hired homeless men to remove asbestos without proper protective gear has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. John Edward Callahan, 56, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to a Clean Air Act violation – but because he doesn’t have the resources was not fined or required to pay for medical monitoring and treatment of the men he'd exposed to asbestos.
Roanoke Times
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

USA: Two jailed after fatal site plunge
A Brooklyn judge has sentenced the two owners of a construction company to the maximum penalty of six months in prison for causing the death of a worker who was not equipped with a safety harness when he fell from a scaffold. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had cited the firm as recently as March 2007 for defective scaffolding at another New York work site - and that the defendants have ignored the $34,000 (£17,000) fine.
NY Daily News
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Cameraman's death was 'unlawful'
A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing on a television cameraman killed in Iraq. Paul Douglas, 48, was killed when a car bomb exploded at a checkpoint near the centre of Baghdad on 29 May 2006.
BBC News Online
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Make the punishment fit the crime
Safety professionals’ organisation IOSH has said last week’s £121.5 million fine for British Airways for illegally fixing fuel surcharges provides a stark contrast to the fines handed out by the courts for health and safety offences. The combined fines total for all safety convictions secured by HSE in 2005/06 was less than a fifth the fine incurred by BA for the single breach of financial rules.
IOSH news release
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Frozen food firm’s double injury fine
A major frozen food firm in Wales with a turnover of £23m has been ordered to pay £33,000 in fines and costs after two forklift truck drivers were badly injured in separate incidents. Wrexham-based Pann Krisp said it had “learned lessons” after it admitted two breaches of safety rules relating to the July 2005 injuries.
HSE new releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Cost-cutting accident boss jailed
A “cunning” businessman whose cost-cutting and “callous” disregard for safety led to a near fatal accident involving one of his workers has been jailed for six months and ordered to pay £90,000 compensation to the victim. Shah Nawaz Pola had denied being responsible for a Bradford building site where Slovakian worker Dusan Dudi suffered what were thought to be non-survivable injuries when he was struck by a concrete lintel.
Yorkshire PostTelegraph and Argus
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Campaigners push for crane safety
Safety campaigners are calling for sweeping new measures to address the problems that have led to a spate of crane tragedies. The Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group (BCDAG) joined key industry figures at a 9 August Construction Confederation/Strategic Forum crane “summit” in central London, where it launched its own crane safety manifesto.
BCDAG news release and Crane Safety ManifestoFACK news release
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Britain: Unite calls for more honest offshore statistics
Health and safety statistics for the offshore oil and gas sector from all sources should be combined and released “in a more open, honest fashion” as the current system is obscuring most fatalities, offshore union Unite has said. The union say HSE statistics show just two fatalities in the sector in 2006/07, but the 11 deaths reported to other UK agencies go unmentioned.
Unite news releaseHSE news releaseOffshore safety statistics bulletin 2006/07
Hazards news, 11 August 2007

Brazil: Factory protest against deadly speed-up
Trade unionists in Brazil are calling for an official inquiry into safety standards at a multinational food giant after the death of a worker. Representatives of the national foodworkers’ union CONTAC, the national union centre CUT and global union federation IUF’s Latin America office joined workers at a rally outside a Cargill poultry processing plant to demanding justice for 29-year-old Marcos Antônio Pedro.
IUF news release
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: Firm fined over slurry pit death
An animal rendering firm has been fined £650,000 after employee Glynn Thompson, 45, died when he fell into a pit of offal. John Pointon and Sons of Cheddleton, Staffordshire, was convicted at Stafford Crown Court on four counts of breaching health and safety laws; director Carl Pointon was cleared of manslaughter charges in May.
BBC News Online on the fine and the director cleared of manslaughter
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: BP boss survives safety scandals unscathed
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has said it will fine London-based multinational BP $92,000 (£44,700) for new safety breaches at its Texas City refinery. The company’s recently unseated global boss whose cost cutting programme was blamed for some of the company’s poor safety performance, meanwhile, has been given the plumb post of Tate Gallery trustee by Gordon Brown.
OSHA news release • BBC News Online on the BP fine and on Lord Browne’s new trustee roleMore news on BP’s safety record
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: Let-off for directors takes shine off new law
Unions and campaign groups have given a lukewarm welcome to the new corporate killing law, saying the omission of explicit legal duties on and penalties for company directors is a major flaw. Alan Ritchie, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said it was “a hollow victory.”
UCATT news releaseUnite-Amicus news releaseFACK news release
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: Corporate killing law finally passed
The long awaited corporate killing law is to take effect next year. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber gave the law a qualified welcome, saying: “Even though unions wanted the bill to make individual directors personally liable for safety breaches and penalties against employers committing safety crimes to be tougher, we hope it will mean the start of a change in the safety culture at the top of the UK's companies and organisations.”
Ministry of Justice news releaseTUC news releaseDetails of the new Act
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: DWP pushes for construction deaths action
The union representing inspectors and specialists in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has welcomed the creation of an industry-wide forum to target rising deaths in the construction industry. Prospect said the announcement from Peter Hain, secretary of state for work and pensions, follows calls from Prospect, construction union UCATT and Michael Clapham MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on occupational health and safety, for urgent action on construction deaths.
DWP news releaseProspect news release
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: Urgent action call as deaths soar
Deaths at work are at a five year high, new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show. Statistics for 2006/07 released on 26 July show 241 workers died, up 11 per cent from 217 deaths in 2005/06.
HSE 2006/07 statistics reportTUC news release
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

Britain: Firm fined £3,000 for arm injury
A firm has been fined more than £3,000 after one of its workers was injured when his arm was caught in an industrial cutting machine. Bury St Edmunds-based Petlife International admitted two health and safety offences.
East Anglian Daily Times
Hazards news, 21 July 2007

Britain: High price paid for cheap clothes
Workers in Bangladesh making clothes for some of Britain's best-known high street brands, including Asda, Tesco and Primark, are enduring long hours, low wages and dangerous working conditions, a union leader has claimed. Nazma Akter, president of the United Garment Workers Federation and general secretary of the Awaj Foundation, a local organisation which fights for workers' rights, said that long hours, bad working conditions, poverty and the overcrowded and insanitary conditions in which garment workers are forced to live made them susceptible to illness.
The Guardian
Hazards news, 21 July 2007

Britain: Corroded pipe led to Stockline blast
Nine workers at Glasgow’s Stockline plastic factory died after petroleum gas ignited in a pipe which had corroded over years. The revelation at the High Court in Glasgow came as the companies that owned Stockline prepare to face four charges brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
BBC News Online
Hazards news, 21 July 2007

Britain: Fate of work deaths law in the balance
The fate of a bill to allow companies to be prosecuted where gross negligence leads to the death of employees or members of the public is in the balance after the Lords voted for a fourth time to extend its scope to include deaths in custody. The corporate manslaughter and corporate homicide bill could fall if it does not become law by 19 July.
House of Lords debate on the Bill, 9 July 2007Parliament website tracking progress on the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill
Hazards news, 14 July 2007

Britain: Bosses jailed over worker's death
Two businessmen have been jailed for the manslaughter of a worker who was crushed to death at a concrete plant. Technician Christopher Meachen, 28, was killed at the Concrete Company at Costessey, Norfolk, in November 2005.
Norfolk Constabulary news releaseNorwich Evening News
Hazards news, 14 July 2007

Britain: Faults led to factory death
A factory worker killed by faulty machinery at Freudenberg Technical Products in North Tyneside, lay undiscovered for up to 24 hours, an inquest has heard. Colleagues told how Michael Joyce, 51, was on an early shift and may have climbed inside the machine after it became jammed.
Newcastle Evening ChronicleHSE prosecutions history database
Hazards news , 16 June 2007

Britain: House manufacturer fined £65,000 for death
A Birmingham firm manufacturing new build homes has been fined £65,000 after employee Philip Macken was crushed by a machine. Space 4 Limited, the timber frame manufacturing subsidiary of house building giant Persimmon Homes, was fined £65,000 with costs of £60,000 at Birmingham Crown Court following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
HSE news release
Hazards news , 16 June 2007

Britain: Firm fined after forklift worker is paralysed
A Berwick upon Tweed firm has been fined £20,000 after employee Steven Rogers, 29, was paralysed in a forklift truck incident. Silvery Tweed Cereals Ltd was fined and ordered to pay costs of £5,397 at Berwick upon Tweed Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to breaching workplace safety laws.
HSE news release
Hazards news , 16 June 2007

China: Mining safety clampdown a sham
A high profile government commitment to make China’s negligent mine employers pay for their crimes is having little impact in reality. An investigation by China’s top legal watchdog, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), into the treatment of officials involved in mining disasters revealed 95.6 per cent of all officials charged with dereliction of duty or abuse of power were either given a suspended sentence or received no punishment at all.
China Labour Bulletin
Hazards news, 2 June 2007

Britain: Rogue tunnellers undermine safety
Construction sites are under threat from rogue companies lacking the proper equipment or insurance, an industry insider has warned. John Kevin Lennon, managing director of civil engineering and tunnel contractor JKL Leeds, said he is increasingly concerned that firms are winning work to connect new developments to sewers via a tunnel with a timber heading even though they lack the correct insurance, equipment, experience and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers.
Contract Journal
Hazards news, 2 June 2007

Britain: No inquest into fireball death
The mother of a steeplejack who died in a chimney inferno has been told there will be no inquest into her son's death. Craig Whelan, 23, was working inside a metal chimney at the Carnaud Metal Box plant in Westhoughton, Bolton, when there was an explosion.
Manchester Evening NewsFamilies Against Corporate Killers (Fack)
Hazards news, 2 June 2007

Britain: Oil firm is fined for 'foreseeable' death
An oil company has been fined £110,000 after a Scottish worker was killed on a drilling ship in the North Sea. Derrick Love, 34, from Tayside, died instantly when he was hit by a heavy piece of equipment, known as a mandrel unit, while working on MSV Seawell in the Shell Gannet Field 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.
HSE news release
Hazards news, 2 June 2007

Britain: Work killing law under threat
A political stalemate risks jeopardising passage of Britain’s corporate killing law, as a final deadline for agreement draws close. On 22 May, the proposed law received a serious setback when the government was defeated in the Lords over plans to exclude prisons from its Corporate Manslaughter Bill.
BBC News OnlineHazards deadly business webpages
Hazards news, 26 May 2007

Britain: Company fined over worker's death
An electrical contractor has been fined £100,000 after an employee died when he was electrocuted while fitting wiring in a building society refurbishment. Barry Martin, 28, suffered a shock to the head when a colleague mistakenly turned on the power in June 2003.
BBC News Online
Hazards news, 19 May 2007

Britain: Haulage firm fined after driver is crushed
A haulage firm has been fined £30,000 for failing to protect an employee who was killed while unloading heavy steel beams. Nicholas McKellar, 45, was crushed when one of the beams, weighing almost 1000kg, fell on him in October 2005.
Glasgow Herald
Hazards news, 19 May 2007

Britain: Balfour Beatty machine mended with string
Rail track manufacturer Balfour Beatty Rail Track Systems has been fined £6,000 for not maintaining machinery. The firm admitted the charge at Ilkeston Magistrates' Court. The court heard powerful machinery used to transport sheets of steel had been adapted using a piece of string.
Nottingham Evening Post
Hazards news, 19 May 2007

China: Labourers dying in race for Olympic deadline
Labourers from poor rural areas of China, some in their teens and often lacking the most basic safety equipment, are working seven day weeks for less than £20 to complete the facilities for next year's Beijing Olympics. Six workers were killed late last month on an Olympics project, the construction of a subway tunnel, with the state-owned company accused of attempting a cover up.
Risks 302, 21 April 2007

Britain: Corporate killing action call
Trades unionists have accused Scotland’s political parties of a lack of action on corporate killing. STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said levels of workplace injuries and deaths continued to be unacceptable, and backed the Scottish launch of Families Against Corporate Killers (Fack).
Risks 302, 21 April 2007Fack website

Britain: Two fined just £12,000 for deadly crimes
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reminded businesses of the need to take precautions at all times when working below overhead power lines. The warning came after a Southport company and a self employed Kirkby man were fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,245 after pleading guilty to three criminal charges brought by the HSE following the electrocution of 48-year-old Robert Davies.
Risks 301, 7 April 2007

Britain: Train bosses should pay for Paddington
Unions have described the £4m imposed on Network Rail after its safety blunders contributed to the 1999 Paddington rail crash as “an insult”, with the penalty for crimes committed by a now defunct private company Railtrack being paid from the public purse. ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman called for the fines imposed on Network Rail to be taken from the bonuses of senior managers.
Risks 301, 7 April 2007

Britain: Network Rail fined £4m for Paddington crash
Network Rail has fined £4m after a court found it responsible for a catalogue of failures that resulted in the Paddington rail crash, which left 31 people dead and 400 injured. In court, Mr Justice Bean said: “The fine must be a constant and lasting reminder to the management of the company and to others involved in the railways of the paramount importance of safety and to prompt attention to any identifiable risk.”
Risks 301, 7 April 2007

China: Safety drive for deadly small mines
The United Nations has launched a project to improve safety for China’s coal miners, who average 13 deaths a day working in one of the world's deadliest jobs. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said the US$14.4 million (£7.3m) plan will train and educate miners in five provinces where numerous fires, floods and other disasters strike mines every year despite repeated government promises to improve safety.
Hazards work cancer webpages

Britain: Poor site management leads to fines
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned companies that they risk enforcement action where site safety is poorly managed. The warning followed the prosecution at Nottingham Crown Court of Bau GmBH, of Angelburg in Germany and Re-Construction UK Ltd of Quebec Quay in Liverpool.
Risks 300, 31 March 2007

Russia: Mine disaster prompts safety action
The Russian prime minister, Mikhail Fradkov, has called for tougher safety measures after one of the country's worst mine accidents in a generation. It appears most of the Ulyanovskaya mine's management was underground at the time of the explosion, which left a reported 106 people dead.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Family’s payout fight after shredder death
The family of a recycling plant foreman who died when he was pulled through a paper shredder in front of his teenage son have launched a High Court battle for more than £400,000 compensation. Father-of-three Kevin Arnup, 36, was working alongside his son Jason at the MW White Ltd recycling plant in Station Road, Ketteringham, near Norwich.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Firm fined after driver is crushed
Barnsley firm E J Lidster and Sons has been fined £70,000 after one of its drivers was fatally injured by a falling excavator as he tried to load it onto a lorry. John Ferneyhough, 48, from Bolton-on-Dearne, died on 24 September 2004 while trying to lift the excavator using a poorly maintained lorry-mounted crane.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Firm fined over father and son drowning deaths
British Waterways has been fined £100,000 after admitting safety breaches that led to two deaths. Mark Wells, 41, and his 19-year-old son Luke were found in a submerged tractor in the Kennet and Avon Canal at Mill, Wiltshire, in December 2004.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007Hazards deadly business webpagesFamilies Against Corporate Killers (FACK)

Britain: Probe traces BP Texas blast blame back to London
The final official report into the Texas City disaster, which killed 15 people and injured a further 180, has accused top BP bosses of ignoring warnings that a disaster was imminent. The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's (CSB) report concluded that cost cuts mandated by the company's London headquarters contributed to the tragedy and the BP board knew of the problems in Texas but did “too little and too late”.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Britain: Small fine after worker is paralysed
A firm has been fined £15,000 after inadequate training led to worker being paralysed in a workplace fall. SFJ Ltd, of Bangor, North Wales, which had pleaded guilty to safety offences at an earlier hearing, was also ordered to pay costs of £7,500 at Caernarfon Crown Court following the incident in February 2005 in which Clive Forbes received his injuries.
Risks 298, 17 March 2007

Britain: Jail term reduced for Tebay deaths
A rail boss jailed for the manslaughter of four track workers killed by a runaway trailer at Tebay in February 2004 has had his jail term cut by Appeal Court judges. Mark Connolly had his sentence cut from nine years to seven, but the three top judges dismissed his appeal against his convictions.
Risks 298, 17 March 2007

Britain: RMT welcomes call for joint rail crash inquiry
Rail union RMT has welcomed a call by MPs for a joint public inquiry into the Potters Bar and Grayrigg train crashes. Commenting on the eve of International Railway Workers' Action Day on safety, 13 March, RMT urged MPs to add their names to an Early Day Motion tabled by Glasgow MP Ian Davidson, that calls for an inquiry to include consideration of the effects of the continued industry fragmentation on rail engineering work.
Risks 298, 17 March 2007

Britain: Large rise in site deaths linked to safety cuts
A dramatic rise in deaths in the construction industry must shame the government into reversing cuts in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the unions UCATT, PCS and Prospect have said. Latest figures reveal that 74 people have died on building sites already this year, an increase of 14 per cent on the 2005/06 figure of 59 deaths – and the figure could rise as the reporting year only ends on 31 March.
Risks 298, 17 March 2007Hazards enforcement webpages

Britain: Fire authority criticised after worker deaths
A fire authority failed to introduce necessary safety procedures and training, a union investigation after the death of firefighters Mike Miller, 26, and Jeff Wornham,28, has found.
Risks 297, 10 March 2007

Britain: Mother hits out at slurry death sentence
A devastated mother whose son drowned in a slurry tank has spoken of her “disgust” at the fines handed out to his bosses. Yvonne Barnes lost her 28-year-old son George when he tried to rescue a colleague who had become overwhelmed by toxic fumes emanating from the slurry in a field near Thetford in July 2004.
Risks 295, 24 February 2007

Britain: Unlawful killing verdict after site death
An inquest jury has brought a verdict of “unlawful killing” in the case of Kieron Deeney, an experienced steel fixer who fell 12m to his death when a hatch cover gave way at a Laing O'Rourke construction site in Canary Wharf, London.
Risks 294, 17 February 2007

Britain: FSA fine exposes HSE’s missing teeth
Scottish union federation STUC has expressed fury that the work safety watchdog does not have the same power to lay down hefty sentences enjoyed by the equivalent City financial watchdog. Following the fine of £980,000 imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on the Nationwide Building Society after a laptop containing confidential customer information was stolen, the STUC said breaches of finance rules are more likely to attract meaningful sanctions than those imposed on organisations that kill or maim their workers.
Risks 294, 17 February 2007Hazards enforcement webpages

Global: Seafarer death highlights dock work dangers
The death last month of a Filipino seafarer, crushed by an eight-ton container on a vessel berthed in Rotterdam, has drawn attention to the dangers of requiring non-specialist workers to do dockers’ jobs. The dead man, Glenn Cuevas, was employed by Cyprus-based Marlow Navigation and was lashing cargo when the tragedy struck.
Risks 293, 10 February 2007

Colombia: Mine gas blast kills 32
A gas explosion at a coal mine in north-eastern Colombia has killed 32 miners, officials say. The blast occurred on 3 February at La Preciosa mine, about 580km (360 miles) north of the capital, Bogota. President Alvaro Uribe visited the site to speak to the miners' families and assure them that the tragedy would be fully investigated.
Risks 293, 10 February 2007

Britain: PM offers some assurance on work deaths law
The prime minister has indicated the government will not abandon the Corporate Manslaughter Bill after its defeat in the House of Lords. He told the Commons Liaison Committee that he was committed to the principles of the Bill despite earlier reports that the home secretary, John Reid, had threatened to scrap the legislation if the lords insisted on extending it to cover deaths in prisons and police cells.
Risks 293, 10 February 2007

South Africa: Deaths soar as gold mines cash in
Fatalities in South Africa’s gold mining sector have worsened, with mining houses seeking to cash in on a robust gold price by revisiting disused parts of their mines, the parliament's minerals and energy affairs committee has heard.
Risks 292, 3 February 2007

Britain: Injury lawyers say it’s time for boardroom jail terms
Top personal injury lawyers have said a realistic prospect of jail time for top bosses who neglect their safety responsibilities is necessary if the issue is to be taken seriously in Britain’s boardrooms. They were commenting after a series of reports implicated BP’s London-based global board in cost cutting and mis-management that contributed to the Texas City refinery blast that killed 15.
Risks 292, 3 February 2007Hazards BP webpages

Britain: Cranes grounded after collapses
A construction equipment hire company has been ordered to take down 180 tower cranes after two collapsed and three people died. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served the prohibition notice on Falcon Crane Hire just one day after the Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group (BCDAG) called for a blanket national ban on the use of Falcon’s cranes.
Risks 291, 27 January 2007Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group

Britain: Firm fined after fireball fatality
Ray Davison, 40, became a “human fireball” while working for Hashimoto on the production line at its South Tyneside plant when the solvent xylene spilled on to his work clothes and caught fire. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered it to pay £30,000 in costs for health and safety breaches.
Risks 291, 27 January 2007

Britain: More agonising delays for Stockline families
A further delay in court proceeding against the company charged with safety crimes relating to the 11 May 2004 Stockline explosion, in which nine workers died, has angered unions and campaigners.
Risks 291, 27 January 2007

Global: Union call for action after media’s “bloodiest year”
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has confirmed the death toll of at least 155 killed and 22 accidental deaths has marked out 2006 as the bloodiest year on record for journalism worldwide. The global media unions’ federation this week released its annual report on journalists and media staff killed, ‘Journalism put to the sword in 2006’, which provides a detailed account of the deaths, including 69 deaths in Iraq alone.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

Finland: Police failing to probe safety crimes
Finnish police are failing to investigate and record serious workplace safety incidents despite this being required by law, an expert has warned. Researcher Anne Alvesalo from the Police College of Finland said only a fraction of workplace accidents are being investigated by the police and their seriousness is being under-estimated, despite occupational safety being covered by the criminal code.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

Britain: Multiple fines over site death fall
The death of a novice construction worker in an accident “that should never have happened” has resulted in fines and costs totalling nearly £150,000, with site firms, directors, supervisors and two foremen all facing charges.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

Britain: Firm fined after four tonne rail truck hits worker
A company has been fined £150,000 after an employee was run over by a four-tonne rail truck. Saint Gobain Pipelines, based at Stanton-by-Dale, llkeston, was also ordered to pay £10,000 costs at Derby Crown Court.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

Britain: Crane crash kills Polish worker
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prohibited use of all Falcon Crane Hire Ltd’s cranes after the death of a worker, killed in the second fatal collapse of one of its cranes in four months.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

Britain: Death number 3 in deep coal mine
A 42-year-old man has been killed as he worked underground at a coal mine. Contract worker Anthony Carrigan became trapped underground when a tunnel wall collapsed on 17 January. It was the third death at Daw Mill Colliery in Arley, north Warwickshire, in just eight months.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007

USA/Britain: Call for BP chiefs to have bonuses linked to safety
Shareholders are calling for BP directors to have their bonuses linked closer with the company's safety and environmental performance, following incidents such as the March 2005 Texas City refinery fire, where 15 people were killed and 180 were injured. The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum has called on BP chair Peter Sutherland to address the issue of how senior executives' pay is related to non-financial issues, following the highly critical Baker Panel Report which found the blame went all the way to the UK-based global board.
Risks 290, 20 January 2007Hazards BP safety record webpages

Britain: Worker dies on North Sea vessel
An incident on board a North Sea support vessel has left one worker dead and another injured. Matthew Grey, 59, from Darlington, was working in the cargo tanks of the Bleo Holm 72 miles north east of Aberdeen when he died.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007

Britain: Three workers found dead in building site container
Three workers have been found dead in a shipping container on a building site in Berkshire. The bodies of Kirpal Singh, 30, Manjit Singh, 35 and 21-year-old Gurdeep Singh Deol, from Southall, Middlesex, were found on the morning of 22 December - initial tests showed the men died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007

Britain: Seven copter deaths evade official work statistics
Seven workers killed in a 27 December helicopter crash over the Morecambe Bay gas field are unlikely to be included in official workplace fatality figures, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed. Rig workers Robert Warburton, Leslie Ahmed, John Shaw and Alfred Neasham, contractor Keith Smith and pilots Stephen Potton and Simon Foddering all died in the crash.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007

Britain: Manslaughter bill may be toothless, legal experts warn
Dangerous organisations that kill will continue to escape prosecution under the proposed new manslaughter offence, senior lawyers have warned. In a legal opinion for the Centre for Corporate Accountability (CCA), Peter Thornton QC and Francis Fitzgibbon of Doughty Street Chambers conclude “it is worth asking whether this law will have teeth at all, or whether it makes corporate criminal liability for deaths as easy to escape as it is at present.”
CCA news release, 11 January 2006

Britain: High Court orders CPS to review work death decision
Prosecutors have been ordered to look again at possible manslaughter charges in a case where a teenage roofer fell to his death in his first week at work. Daniel Dennis died aged 17 after falling through a skylight at a store in Cwmbran in 2003.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007