Families and STUC Welcome ICL Report and Call For Tough New Enforcement Action Against Negligent Employment Practices

July 16th 2009

The STUC today (16 Jul) welcomed the report into the ICL Stockline disaster published by Lord Gill earlier today.

The report highlights the failure of the company's directors and the failure of the safety inspection regime in place at the time, which conspired to cause an explosion on 11 May 2004 at ICL Stockline Plastics in Maryhill, Glasgow.

Ian Tasker, STUC Assistant Secretary, speaking on behalf of five of the bereaved the families, said:

"This report reinforces our case that we have made all along - that 'soft touch' regulation simply does not work. Time and time again, the employers ducked their responsibilities. The culture of neglect which caused this tragedy was only possible thanks to the companies ability to, in their own words, side step the Health HSE - a tactic that the regulator should have identified and put a stop to.

"I particularly welcome Jim Murphy's commitment to the families that they will be fully involved in the Government response to the report.

"What we need to see now is a beefing up of the HSE's resources and powers. Negligent employers who are endangering life and limb should be quaking in their boots instead of Scotland's industrial workers."

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy MP, met with relatives and the STUC today in Glasgow, where he gave an assurance that the Government would ensure that the relatives would be fully involved in the Government's response to the report.

Pauline McKenzie, sister of Ann Trench, one of those killed in the disaster, said:

"I welcome today's report. It was good to meet with Jim Murphy and Ann McKechin today at the STUC to discuss how the Government can take action on it.

"I hope now that lessons will be learned and action will be taken in light of these findings."

Ann McKechin MP, who represents the constituency affected by the disaster, said:

"I was pleased to meet again with relatives today to review the report's findings.

"I welcome all the recommendations in this thorough report by Lord Gill. It is a substantial piece of work, which identifies not only the negligence of the employer but serious failings of the HSE over a long period of years. It is clear that the accident would never have occurred if existing law had been properly enforced."

  • END -


The full statement from the ICL Support Group is attached

• For further information, Ian Tasker o 0141 337 8100 o 07974966227 o itasker@stuc.org.uk

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