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Safety will not improve when inspections are cut

Sir,

For more than two years I have been extremely frustrated and angry at what is happening in the name of health and safety and those responsible for it – the Government and HSE.

Sir,

For more than two years I have been extremely frustrated and angry at what is happening in the name of health and safety and those responsible for it – the Government and HSE.

It seems quite mad to me that there is such a lack of resources.

Factory inspectors are so thin on the ground that even a person like me – a regional chairman of a union – has never seen one on any site or workplace I have visited.

The only time I saw a representative of the HSE was at a forum meeting, where they spelt out the latest ‘propaganda’ – kidding workers that they are dealing with safety issues.

When they tell us that the few factory inspectors they have got will be spending 50 per cent of their time giving jolly nice seminars instead of policing our workplaces, it makes me think.

Would taking 50 per cent of speed cameras off the road improve road safety?

Or, if traffic police spent half their time talking to -motorists instead of enforcing the law, would this improve safety?

A few days before Gordon Brown became our prime minister, I attended a meeting in Newcastle and expressed my deep concerns to him at the appalling figures of work-related deaths and injuries in the construction industry.

Mr Brown voiced concern concerned for my worries and promised he would come back to me.
Although I appreciate the tremendous workload he has, it has now been several weeks since he told me this.

With the appalling figure of 77 construction industry deaths in the past year, may I appeal to him again?

Mr Brown, something has got to be done now to ensure no more lives are lost or ruined due to lack of action.

This must be done in remembrance of those who have already lost their lives. We must work together as an industry, and with our politicians, to end the tragedies.

Willie Whalen
Carlisle
Cumbria