Speaking after the announcement yesterday by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), our workplace health and safety police, that there has been a reduction from 233 workers killed in 2007/8 down to 180 in 2008/9 with the previous lowest recorded in 2005/6 at 217.
Mick Holder of the Hazards Campaign said: “The reduction in deaths is very good news indeed. However, it must be taken in the context that very many more people lose their lives because of work activity who are not recorded by the HSE, such as the huge number of people killed on the roads who are at work at the time or the thousands that die from asbestos diseases from contact at work. There are also still worrying areas, such as the increasingly poor record of the waste and recycling industry.”
The HSE estimate the cost to the UK economy of workplace injury, disability and ill-health to be possibly as high as £30billion every year.
To reduce this, the Hazards Campaign continues to call for:
More resources for the HSE and a reversal in the decline of their enforcement activity.
Full legal responsibilities for health and safety to be placed on company directors.
Stronger legal rights for trade union safety reps in support of their work in making work safer and healthier.
Workers to be given the right to refuse dangerous work without the fear of victimisation.
Contact: 020 8223 0712 or 0161 636 7557
Hazards Campaign on the true extent of workplace injury
The Hazards Campaign is a national campaign on occupational and environmental health and safety issues that has been in existence since 1988. http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/