Category Archives: media

Confirmed: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will speak at the Hazards 2016 conference

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP will speak at the final plenary session of the Hazards conference 2016 ,  the largest health and safety conference for safety reps in UK, run by Hazards Campaign, 29-31 July. He says:

“After a long term decline I am very worried that workplace deaths and diseases are on the rise again. Workers deserve the protection of strong employment rights, trade union rights and a safety watchdog that is up to the job.

“Six years of Conservative-led government have allowed rogue bosses to exploit an increasingly insecure and abused workforce. Labour will protect people at work, rather than create a world where the likes of Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley can get away with whatever they want.

“Working people earn this country’s wealth and run our public services; these are essential tasks for which no-one should pay with their life.”

More details on the Hazards 2016 conference

Alarm bells as work tragedies strike

In the last three years, the long term downward trend in UK work fatalities has reversed and is plateauing.  HSE’s latest fatality statistics released on 7 July 2016 show a provisional total of 144 workers killed in work-related incidents which is slightly upon last year’s final total of 142 last year and 136 the year before. (1). There has been an increase in deaths in construction, up from 35 to 43.

Also, on 7 July 2016, five men were killed at a recycling plant in Birmingham: Saibo Sillahhe; Alimamo Jammeh; Ousman Jabbie; Bangaly Dukureh; Mohammed Jagana, all Spanish nationals from Gambia.  This was the third work-related multiple fatality in less than a year in England.  Derek Moore, Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks and Jason Shingler were killed and many injured at Bosley Wood flour miIl explosion on 17th July 2015. Christopher Huxtable, Ken Cresswell, John Shaw and Michael Collings were killed in the collapse of a boiler house while being prepared for demolition at Didcot Power Station on 23rd February 2016. The body of Michael Collings was recovered but the other three workers still lie under the rubble nearly 20 weeks later to the horror and grief of their families.

A Hazards Campaign spokesperson said:

“The past 6 years of Coalition and Tory government have seen huge cuts to the enforcement of laws intended to protect workers, and a constant stream of lies about good health and safety being a ‘burden on business’ (2).  There are of course unforeseeable, unpreventable accidents at work, however almost all deaths and injuries at work are due to the poor management of health and safety by employers.   We will not know the cause of this latest multiple worker fatality incident until the result of the full investigation. But we would be concerned if there has been a fall in proactive, preventive inspections even in the few high risk industries such as waste and recycling where such inspections are currently still permitted.

“We believe that the stalling in the decline in deaths at work and an increase in ill-health due to work, is a direct result of government policies and the attack on HSE and Local Authorities as regulators and enforcers (3)

 “We know, and the families of those killed at work know, that red tape is far better than bloody bandages. No-one died from too much regulation and enforcement but from quite the opposite.  (4). We completely oppose any post-Brexit further slashing of workers’ health and safety.  We demand that the  government put an end to the constant denigration of health and safety regulations and enforcement, and reverse the attacks on budgets and policies at the HSE and Local Authorities, so that workers can be protected properly at work. The HSE’s latest strategy is little more than a business advice brochure and their hashtag,  #helpgbworkwell, no more than wishful thinking (5).

“We also urge ministers to meet with us, with Families Against Corporate Killers (6),  and the families of those killed at work in Birmingham, at Didcot and Bosley, and all across the country in much less noticed single worker incidents, to explain why their lives have less priority than the freedom of employers to make profits.”


  2. Hazards Magazine: ‘Will we survive another Tory term?’
  3. Hazards Magazine: ‘Cuts to HSE hurts workers’:
    Steve Tombs: ‘Better Regulation- Better for Whom?’ Briefing on cuts to Local Authority enforcement of health and safety, pollution control  and food safety:
  4. Hazards Magazine:  ‘It’s your choice red tape or bloody bandages’;; ‘We Love red tape it’s better than bloody bandages’:
  5. Hazards Magazine ‘HSE all talk’:
  6.  Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK, founded in July 2006

Founder Members:

Dawn and Paul Adams son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre, 10th October 1998

Linzi Herbertsonhusband Andrew Herbertson 29, killed at work in January 1998

Mike and Lynne Hutin son Andrew Hutin 20, killed at work on 8th Nov 2001

Mick & Bet Murphyson Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work on 21st February 2004

Louise Taggart brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work on 4th August 2005

Linda Whelanson Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work on 23rd May 2002

Dorothy & Douglas Wrightson Mark Wright 37, killed at work on 13th April 2005

Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

Hazards Campaign news release  
Parliamentary group calls for asbestos eradication

The Hazards Campaign supports the report published today, Friday 16th October, by the all-party parliamentary group on occupational safety and health calling for the safe removal of all asbestos in Britain as an answer to the asbestos crisis.

Hilda Palmer, acting chair of the Hazards Campaign said:

 “Asbestos is not a problem of the past, but a very real and present risk to many workers.  There are still millions of tonnes in about half a million workplaces and public buildings – schools, hospitals- across the UK.  Some of it in a poor state, poorly managed and shedding microscopic asbestos fibres into the air that people then breathe.  All types of asbestos are carcinogenic and exposure to asbestos at work continues to cause over 5,000 deaths every year from mesothelioma and lung cancer.  Over 15 years after the use of asbestos was banned, hundreds of thousands of workers, and children in schools and other public buildings, are still at risk of exposure every day.

“The Hazards Campaign wholeheartedly supports and endorses the proposal from the all-party group for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from all workplaces and public buildings.  Beginning the removal of the carcinogenic hazard of asbestos from our buildings now, is the only way of ensuring the protection of future generations from the risk of a known and preventable cause of death.

“Failure of government to act now will be knowingly condemning future generations to death.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:  Hilda Palmer Tel 0161 636 7557

  1. The report – The asbestos crisis: Why Britain needs an eradication law – is available at


Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important

Hazards Campaign News release
Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important

It’s dead wrong. Kill TU Bill not the Workers.

The Hazards Campaign is marching on Sunday 4th October because of fears we will not survive another 5 years of Tory attacks on workers lives and health. Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign says: “Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong. We won’t take work deaths lying down. None of us voted to die at work,so stop your wrong headed attack on workers safety. (1) We are sending a postcard to David Cameron at the Tory Party Conference:


‘Dear PM, Your policies on health and safety, trade union and employment rights are dangerous for workers and damaging to our economy. We urge you to abandon this vindictive and potentially deadly assault on basic human rights, yours faithfully, Hazards Campaign.’”

Hilda Palmer explains: “We are worried because in just one term the Conservatives have; abandoned routine safety inspections; slashed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) budget by nearly 44 per cent; pimped out HSE to commercial interests; killed off the HSE medical division; stacked the HSE board with industry stooges; pulled the teeth of gangmasters’ watchdog; priced sick and injured workers out of compensation claims; made employment tribunals pay per go; removed key legal protections; told business that health and safety is a burden that shouldn’t concern them.

“What more harm will they cause in another 5 years? Immediately on re-election they introduced the TU Bill which will harm workers’ ability to protect their health and safety at work, will also cost employers and the economy, and may lead to more worker deaths and ill health.Marching with us today are families of those killed by employers’negligence, which is likely to get worse if the TU Bill is passed.” (2)

Joanne Hill, mother of 16 year old Cameron Minshull, killed by grossly negligent employer in Bury while on a government funded apprenticeship in 2013 says:

“Cameron should have been safe at work, the government should have been checking the employer was fit to have an apprentice like Cameron, but he wasn’t, it was a death trap. We will never see Cameron again and I hold his employer and the government to blame. Only days before Cameron was killed, David Cameron was telling business leaders that health and safety regulations to protect young people were silly and unnecessary and should be scrapped. I am very worried that other young people are at risk on apprenticeships and will die or be injured. I want David Cameron to meet me and discuss what needs to be done to keep our sons and daughters safe at work. He has children too, surely he will understand and not want to make it easier for people like Cameron’s employer to hurt and kill our children?” (3)

Tracey Seward says:“Our 4 year old daughter Daisy can’t see her dad anymore, she can only water the flowers on his grave as he was killed at work earlier this year. That shouldn’t happen to anyone’s child, to be left without their dad just because he went to work to earn a living to look after us. We are devastated at his death.”

Hilda Palmer added:“Will we survive another 5 years of Tory attacks on the laws and enforcement meant to keep workers safe and healthy at work? 28.2 million working days are lost to injuries and illness caused by work. Union safety reps make workplaces twice as safe by working with employers to prevent injuries and illness, but the TU Bill threatens to stop them having time and resources to carry out their life-saving work. Safety reps not only save workers lives and health they also save employers’ money and the economy too! Less than 0.8 million days are lost to strikes which this Bill aims to make harder, compared to 28.2 million days lost due to injuries and illness caused by poorly managed health and safety. That shows that the TU Bill is wrong-headed, vindictive and potentially deadly and it must be stopped. No-one should die simply for going to work to earn a living.” (1)

Hazards Campaign says to David Cameron “Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong. We won’t take work deaths lying down. None of us voted to die at work, so stop deregulating, stop slashing enforcement and adopt a positive programme for good workplace safety that is good for workers and their families, good for business, good for the economy, good for all! Kill the Bill not the Workers.”(4).

For more information: Hilda Palmer Tel: 0161 636 7557 Mobile: 079298 00240

Note to editors

  1. Hazards magazine Unions challenge wrong-headed government attack that could cost lives
    TUC Government threat to safety reps – get the message out there!
  2. Hazards magazine Will we survive another 5 years?
  3. Hazards magazine Workers die when government says work safety isn’t important. It’s dead wrong
    Hazards magazine Cameron Killed
  4. Hazards Campaign plan Step up and act up for health and safety

Hazards Campaign
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre
70 Alexandra Road
M16 7WD
Tel 0161 636 7557
Fax 0161 6367556

FACK criticises HSE on Glasgow bin tragedy

FACK news release  
FACK questions the HSE’s decision not to investigate Glasgow bin lorry crash as work-related – given the Judicial Review quashing of a similar wrong HSE decision in 2000.

The Health and Safety Executive’s decision not to investigate the Glasgow bin lorry crash as a work–related incident, and to treat it as just a ‘road traffic accident’ was severely questioned in the FAI yesterday:  ‘A safety inspector has denied that a decision to treat the Glasgow bin lorry crash as a road traffic accident was “hasty and ill advised”’ (1)

Continue reading FACK criticises HSE on Glasgow bin tragedy

Some justice won for Cameron Minshull, 16

FACK news release  
Some justice won for  Cameron Minshull, 16 year old apprentice, killed at work 8 January 2013

Today, Tuesday 14th July, the companies and individuals responsible for the death on 8th January 2013 of 16 year old Cameron Minshull,  on a government approved apprenticeship, were sentenced by Judge Stockdale at Manchester Crown Court..

On the day he died at Huntley Mount Engineering, Cameron was killed doing an extremely dangerous  procedure – deburring and polishing by hand – that was unnecessary but exposed him to work on a CNC lathe with the safety mechanisms overridden, with his hands close to parts revolving at 700+ revolutions per minute, with the obvious risk of catastrophic injury or death. The judge made it clear that in no way at all was Cameron responsible for his death but that this responsibility lay at the door of Huntley Mount Engineering and the Hussains plus Lime People Training Solutions.  Continue reading Some justice won for Cameron Minshull, 16

Our alternative to Tories’ deadly safety plan

The Hazards Campaign has published a plan for the first 100 days of the new government  It’s time to step up and act up for health and safety.

Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign spokesperson said: “Work is getting more unhealthy and workers and the country are paying a very heavy price for work-related illness, injury and death. Workers won’t vote to die at work so the Hazards Campaign wants to know from all political parties:  ‘Hey! Whotcha gonna do?’  On May 8th the new government could immediately start to make workplaces healthier, safer and better for all if it adopted our plan. So who is going to adopt it? Workers  won’t vote to die at work.

“Business as usual for the next 5 years is not an option for workers lives and health. Work shouldn’t hurt and it certainly shouldn’t kill, but in 2015 it still does (2). Over the last five years some have seen work become hell, for most it has become more unhealthy, and for many it is deadly due to the great deregulation lie causing a retreat from the law, enforcement, prevention and protection.  Damaging workers’ health and lives is an unacceptable price to pay and it also costs taxpayers and the economy between £30 and 60 billion a year.  Employers’ criminal non-compliance with health and safety law is a tax on us all.

“On day one the new government could begin preventing this harm and start the move to making work better by implementing our plan and returning to evidence-based policies.  We set out ten steps for government and three for workers and unions safety reps.

“First of all the new government must bury the ‘burdens on business’ lie, be explicit that the mismanagement that hurts the workforce also hurts the economy. It must put a stop to the erosion of health and safety laws, and instigate a programme of inspections to protect workers from unscrupulous employers and keep workers healthy.

“The HSE needs to get real and step up and act up as it currently fails to act on almost all of the ill-health issues caused by modern work. HSE has taken no prosecutions on stress, the single biggest cause of work-related ill-health, and is not clamping down on cancer risks or removing toxins from work.   Our plan says the main aim of the HSE should be the protection of workers not the profits or the interests of those who would harm them. The HSE’s aim should be to make work better and to stand up to government when it’s wrong.

“HSE must get the count right by counting all workers killed at, and by, work, including suicides, road, air and sea deaths; all work-cancers, heart attacks, strokes and fatal lung disease deaths. Acting to protect workers and safety reps in badly managed workplaces means giving them more enforceable rights, and then enforcing them.

“Government policies over the past 5 years based on ideology not evidence have thrown workers to the wolves of a deregulated, unenforced marketplace. Vulnerable migrant, temporary and low paid workers have suffered the most, are at most risk and least protected (3) so the new government must reinstate the powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and extend its remit to all sectors where temporary workers are exploited.

“The iceberg of workplace harm is work-related ill-health.  Our plan calls for sorting this out by creating worker-oriented occupational health services within the NHS focusing on prevention, support for sick and injured workers, treatment and rehabilitation. This will replace punitive sickness absence management and government hounding by outsourced ‘Welfare’ and  ‘Fit for Work’ agencies which focus only on forcing the sick and injured back to work, recovered or not.

“Our plan also calls for fair, just compensation not the dysfunctional Industrial Injuries Disability Benefits scheme (4) or slashed legal aid for personal injury cases. Whistleblowers, such as workers on the Crossrail project who have been sacked for raising health and safety issues, should be protected, and fees for Employment tribunals removed.

“We also call on workers not to sit around waiting but to get involved, become safety reps, for existing safety reps and workers to be more active at work, to build union organisation which makes work safer and healthier. Join your union and the Hazards Campaign in campaigning for a government and policies which will protect our lives and health and those of our children and grandchildren.
Work shouldn’t kill or hurt, it’s time to reject the deregulation lie,  we won’t vote to die at work.”

More information: Hilda Palmer Acting Chair of National Hazards Campaign tel: 0161 636 7557, cell phone: 079298 00240

Notes for editors

1.Hazards Campaign 13 – step election guide : “It’s time to step up and act up for workers health and safety: Hey! Whatcha gonna do?”

2. Hazards Magazine and ITUC International Workers Memorial Day Poster ‘Hell No!’ and TUC and Hazards Magazine Poster ‘Stand up for safety and stop the tears’

3. Hazards Magazine 128 ‘Low Blow:  Badly paid work guarantees more than hardship. Because low pay goes hand in hand with low health and safety standards, occupational injuries and diseases like diabetes and cancer frequently come with the job.’

4. Hazards Magazine 129:  ‘Mean Test:  For 7 of top 10 entries on official UK occupational cancer priorities ranking, you can forget about government payouts.’
and ‘Robbed, Bloody bandages but no bloody compensation’

Fatalities at work down, work-related deaths up

The number of workplace fatalities in Britain last year fell to the lowest annual rate on record, but the Hazards Campaign is warning that work-related deaths overall increased markedly as asbestos cancer deaths soared. Continue reading Fatalities at work down, work-related deaths up

Triennial review giving HSE the thumbs up is rejected by government

Triennial review giving HSE the thumbs up is rejected by government planning to exterminate the protection of hard-working workers by commercialisation!

The Hazards Campaign mostly welcomes HSE Triennial Review Report but condemns the government’s demented Dalek   cries of ‘Deregulate, Privatise, Commercialise’ which is their only discredited answer to everything, and risks exterminating the public protection of workers’ health and safety.

Hazards Campaign spokesperson said “We utterly condemn the DWP minister’s response as irrational, pre-conceived, market-driven ideological claptrap, unsupported by any evidence, fact or need, and likely to increase the risk of death, injury and illness at work of those hard-working people the government is so fond of pretending to support.

Martin Temple’s independent report (1) concludes unequivocally that HSE’s functions are still necessary, that the HSE as a non-departmental body (NDPB) is the best way to execute them, and that broadly it does this well.  Temple, supported by a tripartite advisory panel, led a review of the facts and evidence, including responses to the consultation document and meetings with knowledgeable people and organisations such as the Hazards Campaign and Families Against Corporate Killers.

Mike Penning, the Minster for Disabled People at the DWP (2) while accepting the report’s conclusions, then rejects it’s considered findings: ‘I welcome these recommendations, but want to go further to introduce reforms of HSE to ensure that it delivers value for money to the taxpayer, whilst ensuring safety for the nation. There is considerable potential for HSE to become more commercial in outlook and in delivery – increasing the pace of the work already started within the organisation. ‘
Hazards Campaign spokesperson added:  “We welcome the report’s confirmation that the functions of the HSE are necessary and in general it is best body to carry them out.  And we utterly condemn as lacking any credibility, the minister’s dismissal of his own government-commissioned, independent review process because it didn’t rubber stamp the ideological market-led result the government wanted.  Any evidence that refutes the government’s sick fantasy approach to workers’ lives and health – the lie that it’s a terrible ’burden on business’ – gets the irrational demented Dalek mantra of: ‘ Deregulate, Privatise and Commercialise’ (3) and threats to exterminate the HSE as we know it.

“The HSE wasn’t completely broken before, but it may be now.  This looks like the government trying to abolish the HSE as it originally wanted to do in 2010, and has continued to undermine it by review after pointless review (4)- and by the daily rubbishing of HSE’s work,  and the very notion that regulation and enforcement are necessary to ensure employers protect workers.

“The problem for workers is getting employers to comply with health and safety law at all, which has been made far harder by government pulling out the HSE watchdog’s teeth since 2010.  The problem for the tax-payer is that employers’ mismanagement of health and safety at work is costing well over £40 billion a year by the most conservative of estimates (5).  Mike Penning’s proposals to further commercialise what’s left of workers’ protection answers neither of those problems.  It will put hard-working workers at even greater risk of being hurt by their employers with even less HSE intervention.  It will cost individuals their lives, their health and their livelihoods, and it will reduce the value of the HSE to tax payers by shifting even more costs of cleaning up employers’ negligence onto the public purse.

“The Hazards Campaign does not agree with all the report’s recommendations some of which seem confused and at odds with the body of the report, especially on the composition of the HSE Board and on increasing commercialisation.  However, support for tripartism, for prevention of occupational ill-health rather than individualistic well-being nonsense, criticism of FFI, rejection of privatisation, and some consideration of the cost of poor management of health and safety by employers is welcome.  We would have liked a proper evaluation of the true, full cost of employers’ poor management of health and safety and the savings in lives, health and money which would be made by investing in the HSE and a strict enforcement and regulation regime.  The massive benefits to public health and to society this could produce would pay for the HSE many times over in the prevention of work-related deaths, injuries and illness, and make workers safer and healthier (6).

“Mike Penning’s statement shows the government cares not a jot for the health and safety of hard working workers, or for the burdens on tax-payers, but instead is about rewarding its business paymasters with even less scrutiny.  Workers and public beware: the HSE wasn’t completely broken by the government before, but it may be now””

For more information contact The UK National Hazards Campaign:  0161 636 7557


2.       WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT Thursday 9 January 2014 THE DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS    Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive

The Minister for Disabled People (Mike Penning MP): On 25 April 2013 the Minister for Employment made a written statement to Parliament announcing the Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and that Martin Temple, Chair of the EEF would lead that review. I am pleased to announce the conclusion of the Review and publication of Mr Temple’s report later today.

HSE is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB).  It is the national, independent regulator for work-related safety and health.  Its mission is the prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities.

The review has concluded that the functions performed by HSE are still required and that it should be retained as a NDPB. Mr Temple has recommended that HSE build on its well-deserved international reputation and makes more progress to grow its commercial income.

I welcome these recommendations, but want to go further to introduce reforms of HSE to ensure that it delivers value for money to the taxpayer, whilst ensuring safety for the nation. There is considerable potential for HSE to become more commercial in outlook and in delivery – increasing the pace of the work already started within the organisation.

Therefore, I have asked HSE to begin work immediately to examine commercial models for HSE in collaboration with HMT and Cabinet office, and to review the HSE Board to ensure it has the right skills to oversee future efficiencies and commercial income generating options.  Some of the other recommendations require further consideration and therefore the Government will respond more fully later this year.

I will place a copy of the report of the Triennial Review of HSE in the House library later today.

3.       Hazards Magazine Business  says Deregulate: the government will obey

4.         Lord Young Review,  Red Tape Reviews,  Professor Lofstedt Review

5.        Good health and safety is not a ‘burden on business’ it’s a burden on us! The cost of the harm caused by poor workplace health and safety

The HSE records the costs of poor health and safety i.e. deaths, injuries and illnesses (over 70% caused by poor management according to the HSE) as £13.8 billion per year at 2010/11 prices. But this does not include the long latency illnesses like cancers.  Each incident fatality costs £1.5 million and each occupational cancer costs over £2.5 million (DEFRA costing). So, even taking HSE’s gross under-estimate of 8,000 work cancer deaths per year would add £20 billion to this total making it nearer £40 billion per year.  Taking Hazards figures would make it nearer £60 billion.  Of this cost, according to the HSE:  individuals and families pay 57%, the state – us, tax payers, the public purse! – pays 22%, and employers, whose criminal negligence caused the harm, pay 21% HSE Annual Statistics Report 2012/13:
6.      Hazards maagazine blueprint for saner Health and Safety Executive Plus interview with Rory O’Neill, Hazards Magazine Editor,  by Health and Safety Bulletin:

Business Daleks say: Deregulate! Deregulate! Deregulate! Hazards Campaign says: “Regulate, Regulate, Regulate!

Hazards Campaign says: “Regulate, Regulate, Regulate! We love red tape and we want a health and safety system with workers at its centre that’s good for all!”

Like a bunch of demented Daleks, six business leaders are rolled out to repeat the same ludicrous robotic mantra: ‘Deregulate, Deregulate, Deregulate!’ in the ’Cut EU red tape’ report released yesterday (1).  Similarly to previous reports attacking workplace health and safety, it is not based on evidence but is part of the government’s ideological drive to leave business free to do what it wants and to hell with workers’ health and lives.

It’s not new, or surprising and certainly not clever, but it is utterly amazing that anyone treats these unevidenced attacks as credible!  Regulations developed over years to protect the safety and the short and long term health of workers, are not pointless meaningless bureaucracy to be derided and ridiculed.  Every report of workers killed in Asian garment and other factory fires and the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, graphically illustrates the consequences of a lack of good health and safety regulation and enforcement in case anyone has forgotten what it used to be like here.

The report talks ignorantly of ‘low risk’ workplaces where in fact occupational ill health is rife – slips trips and falls, violence, musculo-skeletal disorders and stress are at epidemic levels- and 53% of the HSE reported work-deaths occur in this so called low risk sector.  The Report claims deregulation is necessary for us to compete, presumably with Asian countries or the Britain of the last two centuries, with the consequent appalling workplace death rates?

Regulations that protect workers and members of the public from danger are an essential part of a civilised society and when they fail, as they are doing under government policies, people die from, for example increased Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks, horse meat turns up in our food, and workers are killed in incidents or made sick to death by uncontrolled risks.  Relaxing the requirements on employers taking on young people may lead to more tragedies as in the case of 16 year old Cameron Minshull, killed by an industrial lathe in Bury this year when his Mum felt sure he was safe at work, on a government approved apprenticeship (2).

The real burden of current employers’ poor management of health and safety falls mainly on those harmed but it also costs a staggering over £30 billion per year (3). Even more staggering is that employers pay less than a quarter of the cost of the harm they cause.  So the real problem at work is not too much red tape but too many bloody bandages (4). Government should be investing in the health of workers and protecting us, focusing on creating good jobs, as it is also good economic sense, rather than competing in the race to the bottom that deregulation causes. The Hazards Campaign, Hazards Magazine, TUC, Trade unions and many academics have repeatedly challenged the government with facts and evidence over the last 3 years. But this government is only interested in ideological ‘policy based evidence making’ and serving business interests, not workers lives and health.

The ’Cut EU red tape’ report is just another lazy, unevidenced, deadly demand by vested business interests, without consulting any representatives of those harmed by work, to legitimise bad work.

To the business leaders and government Daleks we say

“Regulate, Regulate, Regulate, we love red tape and we want a health and safety system with workers at its centre that is good for all!”

For more information contact Hilda Palmer, acting Chair of Hazards Campaign 0161 636 7557

Notes to editors
2.    Death of Cameron Minshull,
FACK is furious at Government release of misleading and inaccurate PR on Work Experience and Health and Safety which we fear will put children at greater risk:
3.    The HSE records the costs of poor health and safety i.e. deaths, injuries and illnesses (over 70% caused by poor management according to the HSE) as £13.4 billion per year, but this does not include the long latency illnesses like cancers.  Each incident fatality costs £1.5 million and each occupational cancer costs £2.5 million (DEFRA costing). So, even taking HSE’s gross under-estimate of 8,000 work cancer deaths per year would add £20 billion to this total making it nearer £40 billion per year.  Taking Hazards figures would make it nearer £60 billion.  Of this cost, according to the HSE:
·         individuals and families pay 54%,
·         the state – us, tax payers, the public purse! – pays 23%, and
·         employers, whose criminal negligence caused the harm, pay 24%
HSE Annual Statistics Report  2011/12:
4.    Hazards blueprint for saner Health and Safety Executive ‘We Love Red Tape’