Fear not, Prime Minister – the health and safety monster doesn’t exist
With the Prime Minister recently seeming to jump aboard the ‘H&S-knockers’ band-wagon, personal injury specialist Jack Waller – from our London office – urges him not to believe everything he might read in the papers…
Few of us genuinely believe in mythical monsters like ‘Nessie’. Yet when it comes to reports of a monster called ‘health and safety’, many sane people attest to its existence. Including Prime Minister David Cameron, who recently called for the ‘health and safety monster’ to be killed by cutting in half the number of health and safety regulations.
Like the nerdy scientist who proves the Nessie photo a fake, I would point the PM to the facts. Statistics show that the UK has the lowest number of non-fatal accidents – and the second-lowest number of fatal accidents – at work in Europe. So – as with all myths – the truth is never as exciting.
Yet despite UK workplaces being some of the safest in Europe, there were still 171 people fatally injured at work last year. And, if essential health and safety regulations are done away with, we can’t expect that figure to be any lower in years to come.
We’re a firm with a long history of acting for trade union members who have been injured at work. And we know – only too well – the devastation that an injury can cause, and about the need for effective redress.
As Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, recently commented: “Strong health and safety regulations to protect workers, and the right to hold employers to account, should be central to a modern and civilised society.”
No-one’s yet been killed by Nessie. But, sadly, plenty have died or been injured at work because of employers’ lack of respect for health and safety. Although the UK should be proud of its health and safety culture, there’s still room for improvement.
Because even one death at work is one too many, Prime Minister.