Speaking ahead of the publication of the Lofstedt Review on the burdens of health and safety legislation, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary, said:
“Whilst we welcome the conclusion that our health and safety regulation is not overly burdensome, we are aware that there is a sting in the tail of this latest Coalition Government attack on health and safety legislation.
“With the prospect that millions of self-employed workers may be exempted from health and safety regulation, the review fails to acknowledge that this is the sector where people are more likely to be killed, injured or made ill by their work.
“This is the second review into health and safety and yet another opportunity has been missed to improve health and safety by protecting people from injury, occupational ill health and disease and, as a result, reduce the burdens on our already stretched public services.
“By ensuring people stay healthy at work, and in work, delivers economic benefits. It is also, morally, the right thing to do. We should never lose sight of the fact that it is everyone’s basic human right to expect to return home from work not having been made ill or injured by their employer.
“The STUC believes that removing the responsibility on self- employed workers to adhere to health and safety regulations will only lead to more workplace injuries and exposure to occupational disease and cause pain and heartache to their families when tragedies occur.
“This review should have gone much further in looking at how we improve our health and safety record but what it does do is dispel the myth that our health and safety legislation is too burdensome.”
For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100