Today is National Inspection Day, part of the European Health and Safety Week, when all Safety Representatives are asked to inspect their workplaces. UNISON Scotland has over 4000 Safety Representatives, so that should be a lot of inspection activity leading to safer workplaces.
The TUC has published a handy quick guide to inspections and a poster.
This year's campaign day is all the more important due to the the report produced by Lord Young attacking the very basis of workplace safety. We did not vote to die at work and this report will not reduce workplace illness, injury or death. Nearly 1,500 workers are killed in work-related incidents, up to 50,000 more due to work-related illness, and millions suffer ill-health at work every year. Proportionally more in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.
Far from health and safety being a burden on business, it is a positive bonus to employers as the best fully understand. The real burden of poor health and safety in terms of injury, illness and death is massive and is borne mainly by workers, their families and the state in benefits and health care costs. There are far too few inspections and they are likely to get fewer with 35% cuts announced for the HSE in the UK spending review.
The report is clearly an ideological, unevidenced attack on workers conditions and far from being about ‘Common Sense’ it aims to dismantle universal protection for all workers’ health, safety and welfare. The real impact of the UK government's plans are to cut health and safety protection and leave bad employers free to injure workers, make them ill, and kill them without