The statement below was issued by ICL Plastics and ICL Tech in anticipation of release of the universities of Strathclyde and Stirling report.
Statement on behalf of ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Ltd in response to ‘independent expert report’ (Strathclyde University/Stirling University)
We are aware of a report to be launched this weekend by a group of University academics referring to ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Ltd.
Our recollection is that this group of experts made similar critical comments in 2004 and since, in respect of ICL’s working practices and finances. The criminal case is now completed and to some extent pending a proper inquiry we feel the restraints necessarily placed upon us beforehand have now been eased.
Meaningful comment is difficult until we are aware of the expert group’s methodology. Thus far their published comment appears to be anecdotal and characterised by innuendo in statements gathered.
In any public hearing persons providing such statements will have to justify their claims and be identified. We must ask if the experts conclude that all ICL employees share their views?
Are the report’s authors aware the companies’ health and safety practice was among other things participative. We believe this to a great extent may explain the remarkably few accidents in a 30 year history prior to the tragedy, and the experts’ claims to the contrary would not hold water.
On provision of information from both the defense and the prosecution in the case against ICL Tech Ltd and ICL Plastics Ltd, Lord Brodie’s statement said: “The companies apparently have a good safety record prior to May 2004, going back to the 1960’s.”
We are curious why at the conclusion of a complex three year investigation the findings would not speak volumes to academic researchers as to the general nature of feedback from interviews with the entire workforce.
Whilst we have pled guilty to the criminal indictment we faced and have apologised unreservedly, we refute the suggestion that our working practices were persistently or routinely deficient or that we treat our employees unfairly.
Academics should be reminded, that there are dissident employees in every organisation, most frequently, those who no longer work for the company. We believe it is wholly inappropriate of the experts to name an employee, as they have done, in attempting to promote their report.
It may be there is a desire to discredit the companies, their directors, managers, and loyal employees, this without regard to the damage caused to reputations of the deceased who can no longer speak for themselves. All should consider the pain and suffering of their families, and the feelings of the injured.
The inference we are entitled to draw is that some commentators would prefer the company to collapse into insolvency with consequent unemployment . We hope the expert group will confirm that this was not their intention.
We also must ask that any reference to ‘Stockline’ is removed from the context of any report or comment who’s subject is ‘ICL Plastics Ltd’ or ‘ICL Tech Ltd’ as it is clearly inaccurate and spreads misinformation.
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