October 15th 2010

The Scottish Trades Unions Congress (STUC) has expressed anger at the report published today following Lord Young’s review on health and safety. The report ignores the concerns of the STUC and the trade union movement that further deregulation will lead to more injury and illness particularly as employers are asking more of a smaller workforce.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said

“We should not really have expected more given the comments made by Lord Young in the early stages of this process that health and safety had become a music hall joke.

“Health and Safety is no laughing matter and the legislation that trade unions fought for has protected workers well and is perfectly adequate for managing safety in all workplaces.

“All workplaces have risks that if not properly managed can lead to injury and illness, the latter issue Lord Young appears to have completely ignored. Industrial workplaces, offices large and small can all be dangerous working environments if risks are not managed.

“We believe that risk assessment cannot be made any simpler and some of the recommendations carry a financial burden for the HSE before we even find out the implications of the spending review on our safety regulator.

“Lord Young does not appear to have any idea of the work that the HSE and the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives has done to engage with small businesses and it is wrong to suggest that any employers should be able to ignore their obligations to protect their workers and members of the public.

“This is clearly a missed opportunity for our health and safety system to be reviewed to help trade unions and employers face the challenges facing workers in the future”.

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Ian Tasker Office 0141 338 8100

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