HSE buries bad news on work deaths on England semi-final day

HSE quietly announces a massive increase in worker deaths on a good day to bury bad news

News bulletin for immediate release – 8 July 2021 No embargo

Workers deaths increase by 25 per cent and this doesn’t include Covid-19 deaths

On the day all eyes were focused on the English football team’s Euro semi-final exploits, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took the opportunity to bury bad news on work deaths. Latest figures released by the safety regulator on 7 July show a ‘massive’ 25 per cent increase in reports of workplace fatalities in 2020/21, despite many workers that year being furloughed or working from home. The figures also don’t include the 383 work-related Covid-19 deaths in the same 2020/21 reporting year.

Chair of the UK Hazards Campaign, Janet Newsham, said

“Although these HSE statistics only represent a a small percentage of the actual number of deaths because of work each year, it is still a huge increase in fatalities reportable through RIDDOR.   The Hazards Campaign says this is because HSE isn’t carrying out sufficient preventive inspections, isn’t holding bad employers to account, and hasn’t sufficient resources to carry out the enforcement needed to protect workers and prevent these incidents.”

“During the pandemic the HSE locked down initially, and then paid a debt collecting company to run their call centre and carry out onsite inspections, without adequate training, skills or knowledge to do the job.  The result has been NO COVID prosecutions and a complacent HSE .”

“This week the Government has made it clear they are going to remove the public health measures for Covid-19, that have been protecting people and preventing transmission of the virus.  They are prepared to put young peoples lives at risk, who mostly haven’t had the vaccination.  The Hazards Campaign will continue to demand that the HSE and other enforcement bodies hold employers to account if they fail to control the transmission risks and putting the lives and health of workers and others at risk.”

“The collapse of the Bosley Mill corporate manslaughter case has further highlighted the inadequate legal redress and dysfunctional enforcement that exists.  The director of the company then pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and the 4 families devastated by the deaths of their loved ones saw him sentenced to a 9 month suspended sentence and a minimal fine.  The deaths of 4 workers doesn’t seem to matter and in many other cases employers are quite literally getting away with murder!”

“The announcement of the work fatalities by the HSE tries to paint a rosy picture of health at work, we know only too well the terror many workers face in the workplace, with employers ignoring health and safety and placing many young and vulnerable workers at risk.  The pandemic has highlighted the risks many employers are willing to take with workers lives.”

“We need a robust, transparent, accountable and proactive HSE, one that puts workers lives first and holds bad employers to account.  As the UK Government forces a return to work without the necessary controls in place to protect workers and prevent further infections and deaths, we need an HSE enforcing health and safety law not cosying up to employers or Government.  The Hazards Campaign want the HSE to be independent from pressure from government and big business.”

For more information contact:
Janet Newsham, Hazards Campaign
Tel: 07734 317158

Additional Information:

Hazards Campaign details:

website www.hazardscampaign.org.uk
twitter @hazardscampaign
facebook www.facebook.com/groups/123746101003963

The Hazards Campaign is a UK-wide network of resource centres and campaigners. The Hazards Campaign supports those organising and campaigning for justice and safety at work

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