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Accidents at Work: The Reality of Health & Safety Cuts


As a part of the Government’s cuts, David Cameron has proposed that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) may experience a budget reduction of 35 per cent. The HSE, which acts as the UK’s watchdog for work related health, has worked for many years to reduce the number of work accidents and fatalities.

The Prime Minister has said the cuts are an effective method to save money and keep in line with the recent ’go for growth’ budget. The reduction in HSE funding will see a decrease in inspections and the emergence of a more focused approach to health and safety. Reactions to this decision have been mixed, with many workers believing the cuts will lead to an increased number of work injuries and fatalities.

The work of the HSE has been effective in ensuring the British rate of work accidents is consistently the lowest in Europe. Recent statistics show that British work fatalities are at 1.3 per 100,000 workers, a figure that is well below the European average.

Work injury solicitor John Carr speaks of the potential consequences of these cuts:

“The success story behind Britain’s low rate in work fatalities lies in the effectiveness of the HSE. A key element of this has been the HSE’s ability to deliver excellent value to the taxpaying worker. Many workplaces are now union free and if the HSE suffers a 35% budget reduction, workers in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing where unannounced inspections are likely to be curtailed may see an increase in work accidents and fatal injury.”


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