The Workers Union has slammed what it’s described as a ‘culture of indifference’ in British workplaces as personal injuries increase.
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation fired a broadside at company chiefs for ‘allowing health and safety standards to slip below acceptable levels.’
HSE in the Workplace
The statement comes at a time when news reports are rife with examples of poor practice at work. A recent story revealed that a Manchester based company was fined £30,000 and sentenced to a community order of 200 hours unpaid work, after staff removed pipe lagging, dispersing asbestos debris around a construction site and skip area.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted failings in the management of the project. When the top floor of the building was stripped back to brickwork, the asbestos lagging should have been removed by a licensed asbestos remover.
Sal Construction Services Limited of Cheadle in Greater Manchester pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. In addition to the fine and the community work, the company was also ordered to pay £2,133.45 in costs.
Better Safe Than Sorry
The Workers Union said: ‘The timing and context of this story should give execs pause for thought. Working people are already going through a difficult time – the least they can expect is that the company they work for gives them the skills, tools and training to carry out their duties safely and securely without injury. Health and Safety is not just a collection of ideas or a semantic distraction that can be filed away with other “nice to haves”. It’s a bottom line necessity that is enforceable in law.
‘This organisation has received an increasing number of enquiries from members who are worried that their safety at work is being compromised. In some cases, the damage is already done and they find themselves nursing workplace injuries and on the cudgel end of anxiety about what might happen next. There is no excuse for this when there are established regulations designed to keep people safe. Bosses should remember that it only takes one instance of sloppy practice to set the whole house of cards tumbling and ask themselves whether it’s really worth the risk.’