On the 50th anniversary of the Robens Report it is shameful that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has chosen this year to put the final nail in the coffin of tripartism.
The UK Hazards Campaign is deeply concerned at the political hijacking of the Health and Safety enforcement (HSE) authority, which again has rejected a representative nominated from the TUC on to the HSE Board, which replaced the HSC.
The HSE has become an organisation which at worst, no longer operates as a tripartite organisation or at best only pretends to operate as one. The principles of tripartism were fundamental to ensuring that workers voices are heard and their concerns about health and safety risks are represented at every level of the HSE organisation including board level 1.
The Robens report, which established the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA), is 50 this year– It set up the Health and Safety Commission, HSC, to agree any new regulations and oversee the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, enforcement of health and safety at work, on tripartite principles2.
Working effectively with business, workers and government to keep workers safe, no decision could be made without the support of both employers and employee representatives. This meant that any changes to health and safety law were seen to have come about by consensus, achieved through a common purpose of improving health and safety in the workplace.
This can no longer be the case if the Government refuses to accept those people that the TUC or other trade unions with due diligence legitimately nominate. It is also becoming apparent that the HSE are withdrawing their involvement from the industrial committees, which also operate on a tripartite basis.
The UK Hazards Campaign, urges the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to reverse this dangerous and politically motivated path and return the HSE to its independent tripartite origins.
- So much for the Robens vision of health and safety 08 May 2013, By Kevin Rowan https://strongerunions.org/2013/05/08/so-much-for-the-robens-vision-of-health-and-safety/
- Briefing: Work and Health: 50 years of regulatory failure – IER https://www.ier.org.uk/publications/briefing-work-and-health-50-years-of-regulatory-failure/
- Hazards, number 153, 2021 – RUBBED OUT | HSE bosses are the only ones that think it’s doing a good job https://www.hazards.org/infections/rubbedout.htm