In response to his review of health and safety and the compensation culture, Prospect has backed Young’s recognition of the role that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has in promoting a common sense approach to health and safety regarded as “pivotal in ensuring that businesses, schools and voluntary organisations can operate in a way where health and safety is applied in a proportionate manner.”
Prospect Deputy General Secretary, Mike Clancy, said: “Health and safety is often used as a convenient excuse to mask motives which are more about cost, petty politics or a lack of spine to defend an unpopular decision. In a difficult economic climate the safety of workers and the public can be sidelined in the struggle to balance the books – particularly when maintenance and training, for example, compete for decreasing funds. We therefore call on Lord Young to go further and promote HSE’s professionalism through effective and responsible government resourcing.”
HSE figures show that some larger employers can, at best, expect a workplace inspection every 14 years while many smaller workplaces will never be visited.
“Lord Young offers some creative regulatory proposals which we welcome, subject to adequate resourcing,” said Clancy. “In the long run safety isn't expensive – danger is!”