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Health and safety :: Corporate killing
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On 28 August, two firms ICL Plastics and ICL tech were fined a paltry £400,000 after admitting four charges of negligence, which resulted in the deaths of nine workers. A further 33 workers were injured in a gas explosion in May 2004, when their factory collapsed.
Lord Brodie at the High Court in Glasgow said the breach of health of safety law was at the "lower end of the scale".
How the loss of nine lives can be at the lower end of any scale is beyond belief, especially when the court heard how it would have cost a mere £405 to inspect and replace the pipeline and prevent the explosion.
The £400,000 fine is an insult to the relatives of the victims. One said: "we are devastated, absolutely devastated. I just feel as if they got off lightly".
There should be a full public enquiry into this disaster and new corporate killing laws need to be introduced to hold employers to account.
But this alone is not enough, companies such as ICL who put profit before safety should be taken into immediate public ownership.
This disaster is yet another tragic example of bosses literally getting away with murder.
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Corporate killing (2)
Article dated 13 September 2007
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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