Unions call for stricter health and safety enforcement rules

Trade unions are demanding a radical overhaul of the health and safety
regulatory system despite an employers’ poll that backs the arrangements.

A Mori survey, albeit published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE),
found that 80 per cent of companies found the enforcement organisation
favourably. It found that businesses rate health and safety as the two most
important workplace issues, while 85 per cent of managers said that contact
with the HSE had been helpful.

However, GMB general secretary Kevin Curran said the system was failing
because the nature of work had changed significantly since the HSE was

"The current system is not working, yet the HSE’s new strategy document
claims it has done a great job on safety. Has it learnt nothing from recent
tragedies like Morecambe Bay?

"We’re calling for the establishment of an effective enforcement agency
dedicated to rooting out employers that put profit before life and limb,"
he said.

Minister for Work Jane Kennedy admitted that workplace hazards were
changing, but said Britain had a health and safety record of which it could be
proud. She told a Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents conference that
all stakeholders should be working together to help combat new threats like

The Mori research of 500 employers also found that most believe that good
health and safety practice was good for the business and did not put pressure
on profits.

HSE deputy director Justin McCracken said: "The survey confirms a high
level of support for health and safety and is a strong vote of confidence in
the HSE and the work it does."

www.hse.org.uk  www.gmb.org.uk

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