Serious injuries – those requiring more than three days off work – have fallen by two-thirds in the three decades since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
But Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister for health and safety, told the annual Hazards conference in Manchester that more needed to be done to protect British workers.
He promised business that the government would continue to push for a legal framework that did not place unnecessary burdens on businesses, but warned employers who put workers’ health and safety at risk would be brought to account.
“There is absolutely no room for complacency, we still have far too many people coming to harm as a result of work,” Hunt said.
“We all want to see significant risks well managed and we need the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities to work with business to help improve risk management standards. But I also expect them to be tough on those businesses that wilfully break the law.”