January 23, 2011 | Mark Paradies

UK Industrial Accident Kills 4, Including Two Brothers

Screen Shot 2011-01-23 At 3.39.30 Pm

The Telegraph reported that four people were killed, including two brothers, when a structure collapsed. For details, see:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8276409/Brothers-among-four-killed-in-industrial-accident.html

The story said:

A joint inquiry has been launched by Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Further assessment of the site was carried out today by police and health and safety investigators.

In the UK, every industrial fatality is viewed as a potential crime. The story had several quates about this, including:

Richard Howitt, Labour MEP for the East of England, said the tragedy was ‘a deadly example of why plans to lift health and safety protection should be halted.

He called for a freeze on Government plans to amend health and safety laws to make prosecutions more difficult.

Mr Howitt said every effort should be made to investigate whether any criminal negligence led to the deaths, ‘rather than seeking to dilute the law by which such prosecutions are mounted.’

He added: ‘This horrific incident on a single day has killed nearly half the number of people who died across the whole of East Anglia in industrial accidents last year.
‘We will need to know whether the structure which collapsed had been properly inspected and the correct notices applied.’

”’If there is any evidence of criminal negligence, those responsible must be held to account.‘”

”’The shock and grief being suffered here is a deadly reminder that health and safety laws need to be better enforced, not watered down.”’

What do you think? Will more criminal prosecutions improve health and safety performance?

Is there a better way to improve health and safety rather than putting people in jail?

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