STUC WELCOMES SCOTTISH AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE TO CONGRESS. BUT FEARS THAT REDUCED ENFORCEMENT, WORKPLACE DEREGULATION AND THE BONUS CULTURE WILL COST LIVES.

April 18th 2011

Ahead of Wednesday’s Congress debate on workplace health and safety, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:

“We fear that additional lives will be lost through the combination of Coalition Government attacks on health and safety enforcement, and the drive towards deregulation, and the growing bonus culture.

“We strongly believe that commercial pressures and threats to bonus payments actively discourage individuals to report accidents. Far worse we believe workers are often pressurised not to report incidents or near misses. As a result opportunities are missed for management and workers to learn from health and safety failures.

“Equally, cuts of 35% in HSE funding will dilute the effectiveness of our safety regulator, as a result there will be less proactive inspections and less investigation of workplace injuries and a greater risk of work related injury and ill health.

“We believe that cuts in spending on HSE and Local Authority enforcement are wrong and misguided and will only place increase burdens on an already strapped NHS and benefit system.

“Far worse, as workplace fatalities increase, many families will face the unnecessary pain and suffering of loss”

Grahame Smith welcomed the Scottish Affairs Select Committee focus on Health and Safety

“STUC welcomes Ian Davidson MP and members of the Scottish Select Committee to our Congress for the first time, to meet trade union leaders and safety specialists across all sectors. We hope that that by recommending some excellent examples of partnership working between union and employer, we can help the Committee make a very positive contribution towards improving health and safety in Scotland.”

ENDS

For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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