TUC responds to Health and Safety Executive figures that show increase in people killed at work

Tim Lezard Europe, UK,

HSE logoThe Trade Union Bill could increase workplace injuries and fatalities, the TUC has warned.

Responding to figures published yesterday by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that show the number of people killed at work increased to 142 in 2014/2015, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is a very worrying trend and highlights once again the folly of the government’s Trade Union Bill.

“Unions play a crucial role in keeping people safe at work but these new reforms will make it much harder for unions to work with employers to identify potential hazards. And allowing untrained temporary workers to cover for experienced staff during strikes could lead to even more accidents at work and put public health at risk.

“Yesterday worrying figures on workplace deaths show why we need stronger unions not weaker ones. After decades of progress, the number of people dying at work every year is now on the up again. This government’s cavalier attitude to health and safety is going to put even more people at risk of serious injury.

“The small fall in people taking sickness absence because of a work-related illness or injury is welcome, but may be more down to pressure on workers from employers who are increasingly linking time off with disciplinary processes.

“From the huge levels of musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and occupational stress, it’s clear that the message on preventing injury and disease is still not getting through. Instead of attacking unions, ministers should be addressing workers’ safety through strong regulation and proper enforcement.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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