Louise first took a leap of faith in 2013, which was when she left her job as an employment lawyer.
This was to take on a project to convert the Scottish Hazards Campaign Group into Scottish Hazards, the charity. Since then she has gone on to help them launch a health and safety advice centre for workers.
For a few years she combined getting out and telling her brother’s story, with project work for Scottish Hazards. Then, in 2018, she moved onto the safety charity’s Board of Trustees.
Andy joined the Board that same year, and both now use Michael’s Story as a means of further raising the profile of – and funds for – Scottish Hazards.
One way of doing this is to make these short videos available. We ask that, should you wish to use these in your own workplace or training provision, you make a donation to Scottish Hazards to aid the charity’s preventative work.
In addition, for every day Louise tells Michael’s Story in person, she will donate an amount to Scottish Hazards which will enable half a day’s worth of advice, support or training to be provided to workers.
The Scottish Hazards Centre has been operational since October 2015. It provides support and advice to workers and members of local communities on all aspects of occupational health and safety. This had 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.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the charity has been operating a COVID-19 Helpline. The Scottish Government signposts individuals to the Helpline. And over the course of a year, our advice workers have answered queries from in excess of 1000 workers, their loved ones, and also small businesses.
Scottish Hazards is a key member of the Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland (PHASS). We sit alongside representatives from the HSE, Scottish Government, trade unions and the business community.
Delivery of the Scottish Plan for Action on Safety and Health (SPlASH) is key to the work of PHASS.
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.
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 .
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. She affectionately refers to them as “the FACKers”. And their stories further powerfully illustrate the impact of preventable work-related deaths. They occurred across a broad range of industries, and in a broad range of circumstances.
FACK exists to provide support to families who have lost loved ones in work-related incidents. Hilda Palmer is the FACK facilitator, who was named SHP’s Most Influential Person in Safety for 2020. She helps families to get as much justice as possible and ensures lessons are learned to prevent other deaths.
The HSE signposts families to FACK in the pack received after a work-related bereavement. Referrals also come from those who have heard about FACK, or who have heard a FACK speaker talk about the impact of their loved one’s death.
Louise and Andy have both been involved in the Electrical Safety Roundtable. This is a leading UK industry forum, uniting a diverse range of experts in their field behind the common goal of improving electrical safety.
The Workplace workstream of the Roundtable launched in November 2018. It is dedicated to providing industry support and policy solutions to improve Electrical Safety in places of work.
Worrying statistics show that 1 in 5 installers do not carry a lock out kit in their van or tool bag. In addition, 25% of electricians rarely or never use a lock out kit to isolate the electrical supply they are working on.
These figures were found in a survey of the Electricians’ Community Forum on Facebook in April 2018 on behalf of Super Rod and Michael’s Story.
There is evidently a continued need to raise awareness of Safe Isolation within the Workplace.
And so the group worked to create a “12 Easy steps to Safe Isolation infographic” which can be downloaded by clicking the image.