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Heath and Safety Cuts – HSE Considering Cutting Unannounced Inspections Putting Lives at Risk
Posted by David Cant on March 9, 2011
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Health and Safety Cuts Leaked to the Press

This week leaked letter has exposed the current discussions which are underway in the Health and Safety Executive offices.  The letter shows that HSE bosses are considering axing many unplanned visits to many companies over a large variety of industries.

This has caused a huge amount of concern with UCATT, the construction workers union who have spoken about their major concerns about the negative effects that this move will have for the construction employees.  Alan Ritchie, the UCATT boss stated that many companies’ owners often ignore the health and safety procedures which are in place to protect their employees from serious harm and even death.  Mr Ritchie believes that the only thing which makes bosses enforce the procedures and health and safety policies is the constant threat that the HSE inspectors could arrive at any given time.

Government Cuts to Blame

Mr Ritchie considers the real culprits behind these proposed cuts to be the Government.  The HSE have had their budget slashed by 35% which has meant that they are unable to maintain their current amount of unplanned visits which keeps industry bosses on their toes.

The previous visits to building sites up and down the country have exposed an alarming 80% who had serious health and safety issues which were putting lives at risk.  Mr Ritchie believes that if the planned cuts were to go through it would result in fatalities.

Job Losses Predicted

The Public and Commercial Services who represent the staff at the Health and Safety Executive told the press about their concerns.  The general secretary Mark Serwotka said that these cuts showed how the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition had a twin agenda which involved reducing public spending and encouraging employers to increase profits without having any responsibility. The PCS also have fears about the future of many jobs within the company which could be lost due to the cuts in HSE spending.

Lives at Risk if Health and Safety is not enforced

Although there are industries which will be safeguarded from the reduced unplanned visits there are still many who will be affected.  The non-effected are called the hazardous sectors which includes nuclear, offshore and the chemical industries.  If the cut backs do go through it is essential that employers maintain strict health and safety policies which will help protect them and their employees from dangers in the work place.

After the first conviction for Corporate Manslaughter in February 2011 many companies are making sure that full risk assessments and policies are in place to ensure workers are provided safe environments to work in.  The real threat of losing businesses and livelihoods will not go away simply because there will be less HSE inspections taking place.

A bespoke Competent Person Service Package can help to make sure the health and safety ball is never dropped.  This service can be tailored around your business as no two businesses are the same.  You can have a full review of your current policy and have a full report which will highlight the major issues.  The risk assessments, documentation and safety policies are all included in the small monthly price.  To find out more about the Competent Person Service please call our expert on 0800 1488 677 to discuss the packages in detail.

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting.

You can find him on - Twitter and Facebook also Linkedin

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