Business pandering government safety cuts will leave a trail of human and economic devastation in their wake
UK National Hazards Campaign warns that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone as Cameron obeys business buddies in race to slash red tape that puts everyone at risk!
Hazards Campaign spokesperson said today: “Cameron is blindly following the demented business daleks demanding ‘deregulate, deregulate, deregulate’ (1). Supporting their friends in the FSB who believe that the USA is a better business model is hardly reassuring when USA workplace death rate is six times higher than the UK!
No-one supports pointless bureaucracy or rules for their own sake. But much of the ‘red tape’ Cameron is slashing and trashing is not imposed by mindless bureaucrats but carefully thought out, devised, evaluated and agreed by the HSE with industry and unions, to protect not only workers but the public and the environment. Sending out signal that employers will not be liable for the abuse of workers by customers, will not make them protect
“Cameron prefers to concoct policy in the saloon bar with his corporate cronies on the back of beer mats. Cameron’s populist lie about health and safety being a ‘burden on business’, ‘an albatross/millstone round neck of business’ and vowing to ‘kill off health and safety culture’ gets short shrift from those who know the truth. Families of people killed, injured and made sick to death by employers, know that existing rules and enforcement are far too weak, say:
“No-one we love died due to too much regulation and enforcement but due to far too little. Deregulation and slashing enforcement won’t make workers safer, or protect ordinary people, it’s designed to let corporations and business off the hook. Don’t be fooled and let regulations go, it’s your choice ‘Red Tape or more bloody bandages’!” (2) Said Louise Taggart, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) Spokesperson (3)
“Cameron at the behest of his corporate mates has enrolled us in a race to the bottom, to compete with countries with appalling health and safety records such as Bangladesh. Last year’s garment factory fires and building collapse clearly showed the world that a lack of health and safety regulation and enforcement brings death and destruction. Amongst the government’s crazy deregulations , exempting the self-employed, making more exemptions for SMEs, reducing the protections for young people in training placements, and banning preventative inspections in falsely called ‘low risk’ workplaces , are creating two/three tier workforce with so many holes in the once universal health and safety net. It will allow the very many unscrupulous employers to get away with injurying and making ill, the most vulnerable workers. And we will all pay the cost in the end.
“Failure to manage workplace safety and health costs the UK economy between £20 and 40 billion a year (3). All the evidence from across the world shows that good regulation and strict enforcement lead to economically more successful countries; more innovation that serves ordinary people, saves lives, saves money for businesses, improves health, and builds the economy. Cameron’s strategy is to serve the interest of the rich and powerful against those of workers based on fairy tales such as the Emperor’s new clothes. Some of us can see the nakedness of this strategy and the deadly dangers of such a stupid race to the bottom, but others are still seeing invisible posh clothes.
For more information contact Hilda Palmer, Acting Chair of UK National Hazards Campaign:
Tel: 0161 636 7 557 , Louise Taggart, Families Against Corporate Killers Tel : 0781 278 2534
Notes to editors
1. Hazards Magazine ‘Business says Deregulate: the government will obey’http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/deregulate.htm
2 It’s your choice: ‘ Red Tape or more bloody bandages’http://www.hazards.org/images/h123posterlarge.jpg
Hazards blueprint for saner Health and Safety Executive http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/citizensane
Plus interview with Rory O’Neil, Hazards Magazine Editor, by Health and Safety Bulletin:
3. Families Aganst Corporate Killers set up in 2006 by families of people killed by employers negligence http://www.fack.org.uk Founder Members of FACK:
Dawn and Paul Adams – son Samuel Adams aged 6 killed at Trafford Centre, 10th October 1998
Linzi Herbertson -husband 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 Murphy – son Lewis Murphy 18, killed at work on 21st February 2004
Louise Taggart – brother Michael Adamson 26, killed at work on 4th August 2005
Linda Whelan – son Craig Whelan 23, (and Paul Wakefield) killed at work on 23rd May 2004
Dorothy & Douglas Wright – son Mark Wright 37, killed at work on 13th April 2005
4. Good health and safety is not a ‘burden on business’ it’s a burden on us!
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 of 18,000 occupational cancer deaths p.a. would make it nearer £60 billion. Of this cost, according to the HSE: individuals and families harmed pay 57%, the state – us, tax payers, the public purse! – pays 22%, and employers, whose criminal negligence caused the harm, pay only 21% HSE Annual Statistics Report 2012/13: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1213.pdf