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TUC responds to report on UK's poor health and safety record

17 October 2005 - TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber welcomed a report from the the Crime and Society Foundation which concludes that unions are key to tackling the UK's poor health and safety record said:

"With around ten thousand people dying every year as a result of injuries sustained or diseases contracted whilst at work, the Government needs to do more to take irresponsible employers to task for their lax approach to health and safety.

"In recent years the number of health and safety inspections has fallen and many workplace accidents go unreported. And even when a safety crime is uncovered, few ever result in successful prosecutions. Massive fines like the ones recently incurred by Network Rail and Balfour Beatty for their failings over the Hatfield rail crash may hit the headlines but many negligent employers are quite simply getting away with murder.

"Only when the UK has a new law of corporate killing combined with a law change making directors responsible for the health and safety of their employees and customers will employers start to take their safety responsibilities seriously. Bosses would do well to pay more attention to the warnings coming from unions and their workplace safety reps. It's no accident that workplaces with the best safety records are the ones with employers sensible enough to work hand in hand with unions."


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