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2020 / 2021 Edition

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More needs to be done to protect workers’ lives

Protecting workers' lives

British Safety Council to campaign more vigorously for safe and healthy workplaces, as fatalities rise

COMMENTING on the occurrence of 144 work-related fatalities in Britain during 2017/18, an increase from 135 fatalities in the previous year, Lawrence Waterman, chairman of the British Safety Council, said: ‘Although government cuts to health and safety investment have been taking a while to impact on workers, this increase in workplace deaths may be the first sign of the effect of years of budget austerity.

‘The latest rise in deaths at work reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) undermines the complacent belief that ‘we have the best safety record in the world’ and raises questions about the hollowing out of the HSE’s and local authorities’ ability to inspect workplaces. In every aspect of life, you tend to get what you pay for and our government is paying less money and less attention to workplace safety year on year.’

Mr Waterman continued: ‘The Government is in a state of Brexit paralysis, which is why it is essential that the British Safety Council joins forces with other organizations to achieve its vision of work that doesn’t kill, injure or harm anyone but instead enhances their well-being.

‘The fatal accident statistics are a real disappointment after years of improving our performance in the UK. However, instead of being disheartened, we shall campaign even more vigorously to make workplaces more healthy and safe. That is the least we should do as a memorial to the 144 people who died last year.’

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