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Health and safety in the 'big society'

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"For, ironically, those who create the most risks in our society – and those that have the most power to do something about those risks – have actually been subjected to far less regulatory scrutiny in recent years. Businesses are relatively free, and becoming freer, from any oversight by the government safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HSE is currently only able to investigate a fraction of deaths caused by work that, according to TUC estimates, kills more than 20,000 per year. Many times more people are killed each year in the UK by businesses than in headline-grabbing murders. And evidence from the HSE’s own research indicates that a large majority of those deaths would be avoided had businesses complied with the law.  Businesses kill and get away with it. Few (often less than a hundred) end up in the courts – and the outcome is generally a paltry fine."


A quote from Steve Tombs and Dave Whyte from their comment in LeftFootForward.  The authors are Professor of Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University and Reader of Sociology at the University of Liverpool respectively. Read more by clicking the link below:


Big society gone mad?

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See also Tombs and Whyte's comment, also from LeftFootForward on the UK Tories attempt to curtail the 'compensation culture' and so curtail the already slim chance of being compensated for industrial injury or disease:

Health and safety laws matter - every day 60 people die due to work

"As the Hazards Movement – the rank and file organisation of trade union safety representatives – has found, fewer than 1 in 10 workplace ill-health or injury victims get awarded any compensation in the common law system. Indeed, the annual compensation bill is less than 10 per cent of the costs of occupational injuries and disease borne by the victims and their dependants."

For many vital statistics on the huge decline in the official inspection of health and safety procedures at work, have a look at Tombs and Whyte's Briefing to the Institute of Employment Rights.  They conclude that the HSE [Health and Safety Executive] "has colluded in a policy process that now leaves it incapable of adequately enforcing safety law".

Health and safety gone mad?

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