The case of the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle, which was fined more than £500,000 after two workers were injured, demonstrates that health and safety regulations should never be diluted, Unite the union has said.

The firm was fined a total of £512,000 at Carlisle magistrates’ court this week for two separate incidents in 2013 and 2015 after two workers were injured due to inadequately guarded machinery.

Unite regional officer Malcolm Carruthers said: “The case of the Pirelli tyre factory at Carlisle shows the vital importance of health and safety legislation diligently built up over decades in UK law.

“There have been historic problems with health and safety at this site that were caused or exacerbated by the attitude of looking to blame individuals, who had an accident, in a blame-shifting exercise, rather than address the root cause of the accident.

“This case shows that lessons were not learned from the first incident that should have prevented a further occurrence.

“Senior reps on-site have said that they are encouraged by what appears to be a better approach in recent times to health and safety.

“Unite has well-trained safety reps on site and their knowledge and experience in these roles should be appreciated for the benefits they can offer.”

Unite legal manager for the north west Michael Tighe “Unite Legal Services is proud to be providing comprehensive specialist legal support to any members who have been injured in work.

“Our legal experts are helping our members to achieve justice and recover the compensation they deserve. Our members receive 100 per cent of any compensation recovered.

“Having Unite Legal Services in your corner to call upon is, in itself, a compelling reason to join Unite.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.