Almost half of UK workplaces have never had a health and safety inspection, a new report by the Trade Union Commission shows.
Only one in four union reps say they have been visited by a health and safety inspector in the past year, according to a survey.
Union hits out
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “I am appalled that 80% of reps in construction say their workplaces haven’t been inspected. Construction workplaces can be some of the most dangerous places to work.”
Ms O’Grady says its findings are “deeply worrying”, coming amid cuts to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as well as reductions in workplace inspections by local authorities.
The general secretary continued: “Huge cuts to the HSE and to local authorities continue to undermine vital safety protections at work. That means more workers are at risk of accidents in unsafe workplaces every day. It’s time to fund the HSE properly and make sure bosses know that they can’t get away with chancing workers’ lives in dangerous workplaces.”
According to the HSE, it regulates around 1.4 million worksites, including offshore installations, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, health services, utilities and many more. This covers a total of 13 million workers.
A HSE spokesman said: “Through improved targeting we have been able to direct inspectors to the right places, tackling more serious risks. HSE does not measure its impact simply by counting the number of proactive inspections, and never has.”
The HSE says its direct intervention in response to worker concerns about unsafe activities allows it to investigate cases of ill health and injury and take enforcement action where appropriate.
The spokesman added: “There is a significant programme of proactive inspections to high-hazard establishments alongside a range of other interventions focused on awareness raising, guidance and joint working.”
Source: Business Reporter
Date Published: October 7, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown