Union disappointed by government safety stance


Union disappointed by government safety stance

The government’s response to a Commons select committee report on the role of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive is disappointing and complacent, the union representing 1,700 staff in HSE has said.

On behalf of inspectors, policy advisers, scientists and managers within HSE, Prospect negotiator Mike Macdonald said:

“The government’s response is disappointing but unsurprising. We had hoped that ministers would heed the clear recommendations from the committee that further funding is needed to back frontline inspectors, not least because of the recent 28% rise in construction site fatalities.

“The union has argued for many years that there is a clear correlation between inspection and improvements in health and safety performance, and it was refreshing to see that recognised by the work and pensions committee. For the government to again refuse point blank to investigate increasing funding for proactive investigation, a policy we know works, is at best complacent.

“Greater investment in this key service would reduce the cost to the taxpayer of industrial injury and illness and avoid the undoubted suffering caused by workplace accidents. Safety in the workplace is so vital that it deserves a well-reasoned response from government, rather than just filing it in the too-difficult-to-do box.”

Macdonald said the union’s requests to meet with the DWP Secretary of State James Purnell had fallen on deaf ears.