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July 3, 2012

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Protesters tell Government: you lie, we die

Pressure groups and trades unions came together to protest against the Government’s decision to revise, consolidate, or withdraw 15 Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) by the end of next year.

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) joined forces with the Battersea Crane Disaster Group, the Construction Safety Campaign, Unite, and UCATT to protest outside the offices of the Department of Work and Pensions, earlier today (3 July).

The protesters challenged Employment minister Chris Grayling to step outside of his office to face the families of victims who have died in workplace incidents. Speeches were delivered by some of the protesters, urging the Government to strengthen safety regulation rather than cut it.

FACK co-founder Hilda Palmer told SHP that it is “lunacy” to replace, or axe regulation, as companies will stop taking safety seriously. She also attacked the Government for cutting the HSE’s budget, which, she said, has resulted in the watchdog becoming “reactive rather than proactive in dealing with unsafe work practices”.

Secretary of the Construction Safety Campaign, Tony O’Brien, told the 40-strong crowd of protesters that an early-day motion has been signed by 12 MPs to challenge the decision to remove the Notification of Tower Cranes Regulations. The consultation on this, plus 11 other sets of Regulations and one Act, ends tomorrow (4 July).

Mr O’Brien said: “We are calling for as many MPs as possible to sign this early-day motion. For those of you here today, if you haven’t already done so, please contact your local MP and urge them to sign the motion.

“The removal of these Regulations will lead to more deaths, and this is the first of many protests to highlight our concerns over this issue.”

You can view a video and a picture slideshow of the protest below:



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Stuart514ChazstollBill Recent comment authors
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Rationalising safety regulation is a necessity. Although, since 1972, the pro-rata occupational fatality rate has RISEN, the reason is clearly not for want of regulation.

What we need is a safety culture, where operatives take a little more responsibility for their actions and managers spend more time: A) learning about the processes for which they are responsible and: B) spending more time ensuring operatives have relevant training and experience.


Excellent coverage – the protestors are 100% correct and this is an attempt by politicians to save money.

What is clear is that workers will die because of Cameron’s and Clegg’s cuts.


I agree with Bill on this one, the article is an extreme view on the government proposals. I’m sure with all the consultation within the profession we have dedicated members that put their time into the consultations for comment. Through time industries change and we learn lessons from past mistakes, with this knowledge we can ensure regulations match the current technical language used in industry to help managers and the workforce understand their responsibilities in the working environment.