Widow of worker killed at work in 2015 to read impact statement at Manchester Memorial Day event

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Widow of worker killed at work in 2015 to read victim impact statement at Workers Memorial Day event in Manchester

Mark wasn't just another employee, he was Daisy's daddy, a husband, son, brother, uncle and friend says Tracey Seward.

Tracey Seward, the widow of Mark Seward who was killed at work in 2015, will read her victim impact statement at the Workers Memorial Day event in Manchester on Friday 28 April.

Mark Seward had been working for AGD Equipment Ltd in Stratford-upon-Avon for just over two weeks when on the 27th of May 2015 he went to work and was killed when a metal shard from an exploding hydraulic cylinder hit him in the head.

Mark was 49 years old and was an experienced fitter, mechanic and engineer.

In February 2017 at Warwick Crown Court, AGD Equipment were fined £800,000 for failing to tell Mark of the safe working pressure for the cylinder as he was testing it for leaks and failing to provide adequate supervision for the task.

Tracey Seward, Mark’s wife, will be reading her statement at the Manchester Workers memorial event on Friday 28 April between 12 noon and 1pm at the following location:

Lincoln Square

Brazennose Street


M2 5LN

See notes to editors for previous GMB press release showing Workers Memorial Day events taking place in the London and Eastern region.

Tracey Seward, said,

“My name is Tracey and Mark was my husband.  Mark had only been working at AGD just over two weeks, when on the 27th of May 2015 he went to work and was killed there.
He left for work, we said goodbye, expecting to see him again in a few hours but he never came home.

“You do not expect this to happen, he was killed, He never looked like my Mark again, seeing him in Hospital, his skin was cold and pale there was lots of blood on the floor. I was seeing this but couldn't believe it had really happened.
“The first I knew about Marks accident was when I returned home and a Police car was outside our house. The officer said there had been an accident and I needed to be taken to Coventry University Hospital. Even with blue lights flashing and sirens going on I never thought anything serious had happened, When I finally got to the hospital a Doctor came and told me that Mark had been struck on the head and suffered a catastrophic brain injury although they had tried there was nothing more the Doctors could do, he was going to die . I sat with Mark, I couldn't hold him, he was cold and there were lots of tubes and medical equipment around him. 

“When Mark died, life as we knew it was over too. Overnight things that were easy/normal had become hard, just going to the park with our daughter or to the supermarket were impossible tasks.  I suffered from panic attacks and had to have counselling for it.  
“Mark and I had known each other for 6 years and had been married for almost 5 years - it would have been our 5th wedding anniversary in the August after he was killed.  We were really happy, Mark was the love of my life and our daughters Daisy who was just over 2 years old when he died.  Mark was a loving husband and a wonderful daddy. He worked very hard to give us a very happy and secure life.  I felt secure, happy, loved , protected and cared for.  Mark should have been safe at work but he wasn’t. He ended up in a workplace where he was not properly protected and he was killed, taken from us.

“Mark wasn't just another employee, he was Daisy's daddy, a husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. For Marks parents burying their son was something they never thought they would have to do and this has taken a terrible toll on their lives too, made them ill and grief stricken.

“Mark had always worked as an engineer on heavy plant. He went to work at AGD because he thought it was a bigger company with a good reputation and he felt that he would gain more recognition for his undoubted skills and experience at a larger company.  He was interviewed in a very impressive board room and was impressed, feeling that this was a reputable company. Once he started work however, he realized things were very different in practice.

“At Marks Inquest we had to listen to other workers talk of how AGD is one of the safest places you could work and how the job that Mark was doing was easy, anyone could do it, they didn't consider it a dangerous job.  Plenty of people had used that pump before Mark, luckily for them they got away alive. So doing an easy job with no risk in the safest place you could work my Husband, Daisy’s daddy was killed. 

“In fact it was clear at the Inquest and the jury conclusions confirmed this, that this was not the whole truth and the equipment he was using was not safe, its operation was not understood, that training had not been given to Mark or others, that it was calibrated in unfamiliar units, and that there was no proper health and safety procedures at AGD.  It was clear and hard for me and Marks’ parents to hear that the person responsible for health and safety did not appear to understand the job or the equipment, had not read any HSE guidance on such equipment and seemed to care very little, nor show any remorse at all that the company’s and his own failure to do these things meant basic simple precautions were not in place that would have saved Marks’ life. It was extremely hard to hear all of this at the inquest and to see that no-one senior from AGD bothered to attend.

“After Marks death Health and safety inspectors served an enforcement notice saying Use of an independent hydraulic pump to test hydraulic components under pressure was prohibited at AGD because precautions have not been taken to do this safely, rather than make it a safe environment AGD decided not to do this kind of work anymore. A much easier option than sorting out their need for proper health and safety.
“The behaviour of AGD made our grief even worse. Their lack of respect in not sending a director to the inquest is inexcusable.  Apart from a bunch of flowers the day after Mark was killed, they have never sent  any condolences, not a card, not a letter, not a message, there has been no acknowledgements or remorse expressed by the company or its directors to me over their actions that killed Mark and deprived me and Daisy of our future years with him. I cannot understand the callousness of their actions. I waited over a year for the day in court, the sentencing, the day someone from AGD would have to stand in front of us and be told how their lack of health and safety had robbed us of our future with Mark. I wanted to see some kind of guilt or remorse on this persons face, I never got that day. The judge passed sentence in closed court, AGD was fined 800,000 pounds and I was told this via email. 
“Since Mark has died, my life has been completely and totally changed. Ripped up overnight, from blissfully happy, I went into a state of shock, still not really believing it was true though the inquest and court hearings made everything   more real. I was sad and devastated.
I thank my brother Michael, a GMB Officer for pointing me in the direction of FACK at a time when I didn't know which way to turn or what to do. It was from there I found great advice, support and a caring and understanding voice.

“I am angry, very angry that Mark could go to work for an employer, for AGD, and be killed because they took so little care of him. It is utterly shocking that this can happen even now. That a man who is only doing his best, working for the good and love of his family, can be so badly treated and let down.

“My last text message to Mark read, I hope your day has got a little more exciting, I love you, see you later.

“He never read this message, he was already dead.

Mick Lancaster, GMB London Regional Officer and brother of Tracey Seward, said,

“When somebody is killed at work they are never the only victim. Mark left behind a loving family including two young children. This government has slashed the HSE budget and sees H&S as ‘Red Tape’ that is a burden on business.

“This can be no further from the truth as my Sister has learnt first-hand when somebody is killed at work the real burden is left with the loved ones left behind. 

“This Workers Memorial Day as we Remember the Dead and Fight for the living, GMB demands stronger laws, stronger regulations, stronger unions and nobody should be hidden from Health and Safety at work.”


Contact: Mick Lancaster on 07974 249754 or Shaun Graham on 07885 706556

Notes to editors

1 AGD Equipment Limited, Avonbrook House, 198 Masons Rd, Stratford Enterprise Park, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9LQ

2 GMB Press release 21 April 2017

International Workers Memorial Day events 2017

GMB in Milton Keynes event on Sunday 23rd April as part of International Workers Memorial Day in London Region

The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" says GMB Milton Keynes branch

On 23rd April 2017 GMB members will join other trades union members from union branches that cover Milton Keynes will commemorate International Workers Memorial Day at the MK Rose,Campbell Park Milton Keynes.

This is one of many events taking place across the region to mark International Workers Memorial Day on 28th April to remember workers killed or injured at work and to step up efforts to prevent others being killed or injured in the future.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

In Milton Keynes on 23rd Unions with their banners will assemble in the John Lewis Coach Park at 11.30am. It will then march to the MK Rose( short distance) lead by the Wolverton Brass Band to mark the commemoration. At 12 noon the laying of wreaths. The Mayor of Milton Keynes will make an address followed by Pete Marland the Leader of the MK Council and Sarah Carpenter Unite National Officer for Health.

Other events GMB will be supporting in London and East of England are as follows on 28th April:

Chelmsford - 12.30pm at Central Park, (near the lake and viaduct at the Memorial Tree). The guest speaker will be Dan McCarthy, Vice-President of the NASUWT

Walthamstow - 5.45am at Low Hall Depot - a commemoration for the worker who died in a dust cart crash a few years ago

Leyton - 11am at Bakers Arms - a commemoration for Marian Nemit who died whilst carrying our construction work on a shop site

Waltham Forest - 1pm at Town Hall WMD Event, food and refreshments available

Tower Hill - 10.30-11.30am, Building Workers' Statute, London

Colchester - 7.30pm at International Workers Memorial Tree in Castle Park followed by refreshments at the Forresters Arms in Castle Road, Colchester, CO1 1UW

Dennis Brett, Branch Retired Members Officer, Milton Keynes, said:

"The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and unions are  holding this  event in Milton Keynes  to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.

In Milton Keynes that can best be done by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws."

Shaun Graham, GMB Regional Health and safety officer, said:

"Workers Memorial Day means a lot to the London Region, we have people very close to us who have suffered loss to family members due to bad health and safety practices that could have been avoided.

In 2017 the theme for the day is Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap. GMB particularly want to focus on the hidden and new GIG economies, the risks faced by migrant workers and the issues of gender and class."