From the TUC

Preventing workplace deaths – its ‘elf and safety gone mad!

01 Dec 2009, By

Here’s the TUC’s response to David Cameron’s pledge to cut Britain’s ‘health and safety ‘neurosis’.

The dictionary definition of ‘neurosis’ is a mental disorder, ‘characterised by symptoms such as hysteria, anxiety, depression, or obsessive behaviour’. This seems a strange way to reference 246,000 workplace injuries a year. Perhaps these aren’t ‘real’ injuries at all – maybe those affected are just the victims of overactive imaginations rather than actual injuries?

On the other hand, maybe somone at Central Office has given a little bit too much credibility to newspaper headlines and not enough attention to the facts – facts like 10,000-20,000 people die each year because of occupational cancers. I suspect even the Daily Mail would struggle to make a HSE-mocking headline out of that one.

10 Responses to Preventing workplace deaths – its ‘elf and safety gone mad!

  1. Joel Kosminsky
    Dec 2nd 2009, 11:24 am

    Bashing H&S is a cheap shot to win over the ignorant. Safer workplaces are not a luxury: the Act (HSW74) openly states that lack of money is NOT a valid reason to ignore H&S obligations. We know H&S saves lives, we know it makes earning a living that bit easier, we know it gives us confidence to exercise all our rights. The real danger is not killing H&S laws but watering them down, pretending they’re still effective when reduced to a ‘box tick’ exercise.

  2. Rory O’Neill
    Dec 2nd 2009, 2:16 pm

    The Tories lie about the costs and lie about the consequences. Most businesses entirely escape prosecution or even scrutiny when the serious injure a worker. Business hands Cameron a costs calculation that discounts the “benefits” – not killing workers, not paying out compensation, not losing trained staff, not losing production and not facing increased insurance premiums. Not to mention the cost to the public purse – and when it comes to workplace safety offences, the victims and the wider community bear almost all the cost. see:

  3. Hilda Palmer
    Dec 2nd 2009, 2:35 pm

    Great comment by Paul,
    Need to be spekaing oytr and outing real facts inpublci domain strongly and clearly.

    Cameron’s rant was tabloid fueled myth, mischief and evidence free. Clearly totally unaware of the real numbers killed (see article published in Safety and Health Practitioner in December 2009 -The Whole Truth-; the
    current lack of enforcement -only 1-in-15 major injuries is now investigated at all; and no enforcement action at all by HSE in over 97 per cent of all fatal and major injury cases.
    Cleraly ignoring the fact that the massive cost of H&S failures are mostly borne by victims, the families and the state- employers who create 100% of the risks pay less than 25% of the costs, see ‘Who Pays?’ article on the business invented, wholly fraudulent health and safety “costs” calculations.

    See ‘Escaping Scrutiny’ commentary on the Tories plans to deregulate health and safety.

    Clear lack of responsibility – on behalf of employers.


  4. Alan Piper
    Dec 3rd 2009, 6:11 am

    This Tory bunch of gangsters keep flagging up the horrible things they are going to inflict on the workers ,if, they are elected. I for one am not prepared to see all the albeit miserably presented, real improvements from a Labour Government go to waste!
    Why are we in this malaise which seems to accept that Mandelson and his millionaire cronies will secure their disreputable futures and leave the workers to rot!

    It should not be true that as comrade Marx was once misquoted “That every five years the British people elect the people that will misrepresent them fir the next five years”.

    We have got a message to sell on the doorstep

  5. Alan Piper
    Dec 3rd 2009, 6:12 am

    Wll go on then moderate Me!

  6. Alan Piper
    Dec 3rd 2009, 6:13 am

    and “fir” shouldbe “for”

  7. Preventing workplace deaths – its 'elf and safety gone mad … |
    Dec 3rd 2009, 8:36 pm

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  8. Paul Nowak

    Dec 3rd 2009, 9:32 pm

    I’m not sure the TUC would ever be able to moderate you Alan!

  9. Alan Piper
    Dec 4th 2009, 6:52 am

    You are correct. Keep up the good work Paul.

    Regards Al

  10. norman gray
    Dec 4th 2009, 9:13 pm

    This party will do anything to get into power. How can he say on one hand that the uk workplace is the safest and then go on to say he and his party want to take away regulations which have had to be got by long hard work. Unions need more Health and Safety regulations so that workplaces remain the safest in the eu.