no embargo - 28 November 2011 ( Back to news releases)
FACK condemns Minister Grayling’s announcement of ‘major cut backs of health and safety red tape’ when the report he commissioned from Professor Lofstedt concludes that ‘there is no evidence for radically altering health and safety legislation’
FACK founder member Linda Whelan said:
“FACK met with Professor Lofstedt, and welcomes his acceptance of our case in his conclusion that there is no evidence for radically altering current health and safety legislation. He also accepts our evidence that work-related injury and ill-health is a considerable burden on business as well as a cost to society more generally. FACK rejects the ill informed misuse of the report by government ministers keen only to protect business from mostly imaginary burdens, while heaping more burdens on to workers and their families, and spinning a fact-free line for the press.
“We feel the lack of any recommendations to improve health and safety, support workers and trade union safety reps, and the proposals to exempt self employed workers from health and safety law are dangerous. We fear this report will not save one life, nor prevent one injury, as it does not address the burdens on workers and their families, or employers’ failure to comply which killed the people we love just for doing their job. They weren’t careless but their employers were certainly careless with their lives and ruined ours too.
FACK facilitator Hilda Palmer adds:
“The Lofstedt review was never intended to address the real- life situation of employers putting workers at risk, costing ordinary working people their lives and their health and imposing a massive bill on society of £20-£40 billion per year. Minister Grayling commissioned the report to support the government fantasy that health and safety laws intended to prevent workers being maimed, killed and made ill by their employers, are meaningless re-tape, and a massive burden on business. Professor Lofstedt’s report does not support this ludicrous falsehood, because the evidence isn’t there. However this lack of evidence in a review he directly commissioned, does not seem to have stopped Chris Grayling from the continued unprincipled, immoral and unjustified attack on workers lives and health.
Dawn Adams founder FACK member said:
“Members of FACK were heartened by their meeting with Professor Lofstedt and angry that Chris Grayling refused repeatedly to meet us while talking to all the business lobbies, and now carries on regardless of the evidence to put the lives of all workers at risk. It is absolutely clear to us now that the government treats facts and evidence as irrelevant. It treats the lives of workers and members of the public, like my son Samuel who was killed by employers failing to comply with construction regulations, count for nothing against the interests of business.
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FACK response to Lofstedt Review [pdf]