Announcements made by the Unite Union indicates that in 2015/16 there were 9,219 total inspections which reduced to 7,912 in 2016/17. Following on from a 4% decrease in the previous 12 months. The numbers were obtained by Unite, the UK’s principal construction union, through a freedom of information (FOI) request.
As a result of these recent findings and those including the 25% reduction in HSE inspectors have lead the Union to demand urgent talks with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and David Gauke (New Work and Pensions Secretary) in the midst of further financial cuts in how to find a fair and viable solution.
The HSE’s funding is set to be cut further, with its budget in 2020 set to be nearly half what it was in 2010. The union is also concerned that some safety legislation could be scrapped as part of future post-Brexit deregulation.
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail had the following to say on the matter:
“These figures are alarming as they demonstrate a huge decrease in vital lifesaving inspections.
“Sadly there remain far too many employers who are all too willing to cut safety regulations and it is only the genuine prospect of an unannounced inspection which keeps them in check.
“The government has slashed funding for the HSE and it is clear that it is increasingly struggling to make ends meet.”
A regional breakdown also revealed marked differences in inspection activity with just one region, Scotland, recording an increase in the past 12 months.
|Region||Change in #visits +/-|