Responding to Work and Pension minister Chris Grayling’s announcement of yet another review of health and safety with the aim of removing yet more protection for workers’ health, safety and welfare, the Hazards Campaign says: “This is dangerously illogical, will have major detrimental impacts of workers health and lives, and is completely false economy as it ignores the evidence that the major burden of poor health and safety falls not on employers, but on workers and their families, but also the tax payer.
In his statement Chris Grayling says: “We will also shift the cost burden of health and safety law away from the tax payer, and instead make those organisations that fail to meet their obligations pay to put things right.” Hazards Campaign spokesperson Hilda Palmer says: “if only this were true! The bill for poor safety and health every year in GB is a minimum of £30 billion but employers pay less than 25% of this! Workers and their families pay first, then the state in health and other cost, and only finally do employers pay a small proportion for the harm they cause (1). But all the government’s policies will do the complete opposite of making employers pay: by reducing HSE’s enforcement, by cutting the requirements on employers with dumbed down tick boxes and trusting them to do the right thing, cutting oversight via proactive inspections, there will be no way of knowing what many employers are really doing until something goes very wrong. It is magical thinking for Grayling to claim these proposals will do anything but remove the credible threat of enforcement action and allow non-compliant, criminal employers to get away with harming far more workers with work-related stress, strains and pain, and injuring and killing them. (2)
She added: “We do not support ludicrous bureaucracy or unnecessary restrictions, but there is a widespread but false assumption that simple rules that protect the lives, the health and the welfare of people while at work, are a terrible drain on business and the economy. This is based on bogus figures that overstate the cost of compliance, underestimate the savings that employers make through good health and safety and completely forget to tell us that failing to comply costs all of us far more than it costs them. It’s not costing business an arm and a leg – it’s costing us our arms, legs and every other part of our bodies!
“Grayling needs to talk not just to businesses, but to the people who bear the real burdens of poor health and safety such as the families of workers killed. FACK members are horrified at these actions and fear many more people will be killed. The major costs of poor workplace health and safety costs those workers injured or killed and their families a massive amount, but it also costs the tax payer £billions every year and at a time of austerity especially, we cannot afford this subsidy to lawless employers. (3)
Contact Hazards Campaign on 0161 636 7557
For more info see http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/; and Hazards Campaign ‘We didn’t Vote to Die at Work Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=123746101003963
Notes to editors
1. Who pays? you do: http://www.hazards.org/deadlybusiness/whopays.htm;http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/costs.pdf
2. Job killers- Regulations don’t kill jobs; lacks of regulations kill workers. Pesky safety regulations and meddling inspectors are bringing the economy to its knees and stifling job creation, or so the business lobby says. But there are a couple of large flies in their deregulatory ointment – the arguments are bogus and the statistics behind them are rigged. http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/jobkillers.htm
3. DVD ‘Face the FACKS; the human cost of workplace killing’ stories of workers killed for just going to work where their employers failed to protect them, by Families Against Corporate Killers
Order your DVD now and it will be posted to you. Cost £10.00 including p&p. Make cheques payable to GMHC with ‘For FACK DVD’ on back. This money will help to cover the cost of production AND support FACK’s work – you can donate more if you want! THANK YOU c/o Hazards Campaign, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD Tel 0161 636 7557 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fack.org.uk