Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive inquiry to be carried out by committee of MPs

An influential committee of MPs is to investigate the work of the Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – in particular, whether they are doing enough to tackle ill health and absence and to encourage vocational rehabilitation.

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee is to carry out an inquiry into the two bodies in the wake of their proposed merger.

Its inquiry will look at a number of key areas, including whether they have sufficient resources and whether their inspection, enforcement and prosecution regime is doing enough to improve standards of occupational health and safety.

The committee, chaired by Bradford Labour MP Terry Rooney, will also examine whether the HSE is doing enough to tackle the increase in fatalities in the construction industry, and whether it is doing enough to maintain health and safety standards in the chemicals industry.

The health and safety risks faced by migrant workers will also be within the inquiry’s remit, as will the HSE’s targets for reducing ill health and days lost per worker.

Submissions to the inquiry were called for during December and early January.

As Occupational Health went to press, no firm date had been set for the inquiry to begin, but a spokeswoman for the committee said it would be “very shortly”.

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