Prospect Health and Safety Officer Sarah Page said: “The Government’s proposals to remove civil liability from breaches of health and safety law will make it harder, if not impossible, for people with legitimate claims to be compensated.
“It signals Victorian neglect for injured workers and plays to rogue employers, who will willingly leave our already overstretched health services to pick up the pieces. This is a miserable decision by a Government that is spinning the myth of a compensation culture which even its own advisors have said doesn’t exist.”
The union was speaking after the Government overturned the House of Lords and reinstated an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that changes civil liability laws in relation to health and safety duties. The effect is that workers would be unable to rely on an employer's breach of health and safety law to win a personal injury claim. Instead they would have to prove negligence.
The Government argued that the change arose out of a recommendation in Professor Ragnar Löfstedt's review last November. However, the Government’s proposals grossly exceed it. See www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21579-f0.cfm
Prospect represents more than 1,600 inspectors and specialists in the Health and Safety Executive and Office for Nuclear Regulation.