|Embargoed: July 25 2008: 00:001 am
Information Commissioner forces Safety Body to publish names of those who died in work-related deaths
The Information Commissioner (IC) has ruled that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must provide the Centre for Corporate Accountability with the names of those who have died in work-related deaths once the opening of the coroners’s inquest has taken place.
The decision was made following an appeal by the Centre for Corporate Accountability in February 2006, after HSE had refused to provide the information in its original request in February 2005.
The CCA had sought the information in order to publicise the circumstances of work-related deaths and to facilitate tracking how these deaths are dealt with by the investigation and prosecution bodies.
The CCA has, since 2001, been the only non-government body to monitor work-place deaths through contacts with coroners courts and media searches – Click here to see this information - but it has only an incomplete set of information due to the extreme difficulties (without having the name of the person who died) in finding information about worker deaths .
The HSE had, amongst other things, argued that providing names of those who had died would be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights – in that families could be badly affected by the disclosure. The CCA however had argued – and the Information Commissioner accepted in its decision note – that this information would already be in the public domain at the time of the inquest opening. The Commissioner also accepted that other government bodies (for example those dealing with prison deaths) routinely made public the names of the deceased soon after the family have been informed of the death.
The HSE has 28 days to appeal this decision.
David Bergman, Executive Director of the CCA said:
“We are delighted that the Information Commissioner has found in the CCA’s favour. It is important that members of the public are informed about how people die at work, how these deaths can be prevented and the effectiveness of the state bodies in their investigation and prosecution. Allowing us to know the names of those who have died – when the information is already in the public domain, but very difficult to obtain – will make doing that job easier.”
To download the decision letter, click here to download the full decision notice, click here.
See previous press release, click here
Centre for Corporate Accountability is a human
rights charity advising those bereaved from work-related
deaths, and working on issues of safety, law enforcement
and corporate accountability.
Centre for Corporate Accountability