TUC Warns on Numbers of Workplace Safety Inspections
The TUC has expressed concern that not enough is being done to prevent employers committing health and safety offences. According to them, the number of safety inspections of UK firms has dropped by over a quarter between 2002 and 2005.
The figures were obtained from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and reveal that the number of visits made to firms by safety inspectors fell from 74,000 to 55,000 a year over the period. In 2003/04, the HSE took legal action against 960 firms. In 2004/05 there were only 712 prosecutions.
The TUC fears that the reduction in the number of inspections will result in the UK’s safety record getting worse and is calling for more resources to be allocated to ensure this doesn’t happen.
However, the HSE has said that there were fewer prosecutions on account of a decline in the number of accidents and reported ill health and also because of better targeting of resources. Although fewer incidents were investigated a greater proportion led to prosecution.
The supermarket firm Lidl was recently fined £50,000 after two workers were seriously injured. The firm was charged with two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act which resulted in two delivery drivers being no longer able to work. The company was also ordered to pay costs of over £10,000. Undisclosed compensation has been awarded to the drivers.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.