More safety inspectors could limit workplace deaths

The
number of safety inspectors should be doubled to cut deaths, injuries and
illness at work, according to a report by the Work and Pensions select
committee.

The
committee of MPs backed calls for a £48m expansion plan for the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE), which would take the number of inspectors from 540 to
more than 1,000.

The
MPs said the number of incidents being investigated by the HSE was ‘worryingly
low’, and recommended that trade unions should be able to take companies to
court for breaches of health and safety rules.

The
committee also called for bigger fines for breaches of health and safety rules,
and an offence of corporate killing, where a company is found to be seriously
at fault.

Last
year there were 226 work-related deaths, and 28,426 major injuries in the UK.

Brendan
Barber, TUC general secretary, called the recommendations "a beacon of
clarity and common sense".

By Michael Millar

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