29 April 2015
On International Workers Memorial Day 2015, Labour have taken the opportunity to unveil their plans for health and safety.
Labour shadow frontbenchers and spokespeople on health and safety Stephen Timms and Kate Green said that a Labour Government will promise action, not words when it comes to protecting workers lives and dignity, announcing plans to:
- tackle occupational ill health and diseases, such as mesothelioma;
- maintain the tripartite structure of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), including trade union representation;
- strengthen the powers of the HSE allowing it to inspect wherever it sees fit.
They stressed the importance of health and safety legislation; since the Health and Safety at Work Act 1975, the number of fatalities at work has fallen by over 75%, and countless injuries have been avoided. This is the same legislation that the right see as “red tape” bureaucracy, cutting into corporate profits.
Over 50,000 people die every year because of their work. Ed Miliband tweeted that “Labour will act to make workplaces safer”.
UNISON head of health and safety Tracey Harding commented: “We welcome these announcements. It’s the first time in the election campaign that any of the main political parties have had anything to say about workers’ health and safety.
“These are issues that should be at the forefront of every political party’s agenda.”
Health and safety will be a key focus of Workplace Issues: Taking up the issues with the new government; the first IER conference to take place after the general election, providing an excellent opportunity to assess the government’s programme of work. How will worker’s rights fair under a new regime? Which labour law topics will trade unionists need to be aware of in order to best protect their members at work? Book your place here.