My mission: to reduce the number of people who die or are injured in preventable workplace incidents.
Louise wants to prevent anyone else from having to lose their life or their loved one in a work-related incident that could and should have been prevented. One way she can work towards doing this is by getting out and telling Michael's Story. But, she also wants to aid the preventative and support work of others.
Louise first took a leap of faith in 2013, leaving her job as an employment lawyer to take on a project to convert the Scottish Hazards Campaign Group into Scottish Hazards, the charity, and help them launch a health and safety advice centre for workers.
For the last few years she has combined project work for Scottish Hazards (SC044785) with getting out and telling her brother's story. She is now at the point of moving onto the Board of Trustees of the charity and using her brother's story as a means of further raising the profile of - and funds for - Scottish Hazards.
As a first step, she is making these short videos available and asking that, should you wish to use these in your own workplace or training provision, you make a donation to Scottish Hazards to aid their preventative work.
Michael should have been turning 40 on 18 March 2019. In the year leading up to that date, Louise is seeking to raise enough money to fund Scottish Hazards' provision of 40 days' preventative advice. For every day of paid work she undertakes telling her brother's story, she will donate at least half a day's worth of funding. The ultimate aim is to raise at least £4,800, a coincidentally poignant figure as Michael died on the 4th day of the 8th month.
You can help reach (or exceed) that figure by donating to Scottish Hazards too. If you use the videos - or even if you don't - consider making a donation. Everything will help.
Scottish Hazards carries out a wide range of work:
Preventative Advice, Support and Training
The Scottish Hazards Centre has been operational since October 2015 and provides support and advice to workers and members of local communities on all aspects of occupational health and safety. To date that has included a wide range of issues, including asbestos risks; provision of work equipment; unlawful deductions in respect of safety training courses; absence management processes; school playground safety; housing stock refurbishment; and many more.
Scottish Hazards is also a key member of the Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland (PHASS), alongside representatives from the HSE, Scottish Government, trade unions, and so on.
The work of PHASS is to be focused in the coming years on delivery of the Scottish Plan for Action on Safety and Health (SPlASH). Scottish Hazards is taking the lead on two aspects of the plan on social care, waste and recycling. Partnerships are being built between employers, trade unions and others.
Though based and operating in Scotland, Scottish Hazards has links across the UK, Europe and beyond. Trustees play an active role in the UK Hazards Campaign and the European Work Hazards Network. Strong links also exist with the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims.
Closer to home, we refer to other advice centres across the country, including the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre (GMHC) and the London Hazards Centre to whom referrals can be made. And it is from GMHC that another organisation operates that is close to Louise's heart.
Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK)
The other organisation Louise is seeking to support through telling her brother's story is FACK, whose name is unashamedly designed to make folk sit up and take a little notice. Had Louise not become involved in campaigning with FACK back in 2006, she would not now have the strength to tell her brother's story. She is also able to tell the story of other FACK families during her presentation, powerfully illustrating the impact of preventable work-related deaths.
FACK exists to provide support to families who have lost loved ones, helping them to get as much justice as is possible and to ensure lessons are learned to prevent other deaths. The HSE signposts families to FACK in the pack received after a work-related bereavement and referrals also come from those who have heard about FACK, or who have heard a FACK speaker talk about the impact of the loss of their loved one.
FACK relies for funding largely on donations from trade unions and law firms who take on the cases for the families. I am therefore also undertaking to raise 40 days of funding for the advice work undertaken for FACK families by the inspirational Hilda Palmer. Again, it involves raising £4,800, this figure is a coincidence given that Michael died on the 4th day of the 8th month. Should you wish to donate, please click on the button below.