Friday, 21 June 2013

Resisting reckless attacks on health and safety

#undc13 UNISON will challenge the Government's reckless attacks on Health and Safety, whilst promoting Health and Safety within the union, ensuring that activists are appropriately trained in the subject matter, and that they know what their rights are in relation to their role as safety reps.
  Chris Stephens, Glasgow City Branch, criticised the ConDem Government's unfounded ideological attack on health and safety, passing it off as a burden on business and a barrier to young people gaining work experience.

Chris warned that the 33% budget cut to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and additional cuts to the public sector will diminish the enforcement bodies' ability to inspect, enforce and advise and will result in an increase in workplace incidents injuries and fatalities.

"Let us be very clear that there are very few accidents at work, because an accident waiting to happen is no accident."

He highlighted the stark contrast between the HSE reported 173 workers killed last year and the real cost counted by trade union research with around 1400 killed in work related incidents (not accidents) and up to 50,000 who die as a result of work related illness. This translates into 140 work related deaths a day or 6 an hour.

Chris also condemned the removal of civil liability from the Heath and Safety Act last Christmas without consultation, without debate, denying our members access to justice for workplace injury claims.

He emphasised that the role of health and safety reps is more crucial than ever before, "We need to train more workplace reps, in order to defend members' health and safety, and to hold employers to account over unsafe conditions and practices. Organise, educate and agitate!"

No comments:

Post a Comment