Safety inspection shut down

Submitted by AWL on 26 May, 2020 - 11:12

Britain’s official Health and Safety Executive responded to the virus danger in the many workplaces still operating throughout the lockdown, by… suspending its workplace inspections. It phased out everything that couldn’t be done by its staff working from home.

Between 9 March and 7 May, the HSE received 4,813 reports about workplace issues relating to the virus, but it has started no proceedings against any employer.

From 2009-10 to 2016, successive Tory cuts reduced the HSE’s budget by 46%, and the number of inspectors it employed fell by over a third.

On 20 May the HSE announced it would start “proactive” inspections of sites. Unions must demand HSE funding be restored, but also use their workplace strength and rights (including “Section 44”) to enforce safety measures without waiting for that.

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