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Back off, you bullies

AGENDA COMMENT

BULLYING tactics by the Health & Safety Executive have backfired spectacularly in its Better Backs campaign.

Builders' merchants were sent letters threatening them with legal action unless they handed over details of customers buying heavy blocks. But shocked sellers stood firm against the offensive and forced the HSE to back down and apologise over its heavy-handed approach.

Safety officials wanted to show they meant business in their campaign to stop workers injuring themselves lifting heavy blocks on site.

But they went after the wrong target and lost a lot of credibility in the process.

Receiving a threatening letter from an official is worrying for any business.

And it reinforces the growing fear that Government bodies like the HSE have become infested with keyboard bullies who hide behind public anonymity to browbeat industry.