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News item: Personal injury claims for workplace injuries set to rise, according to Unite

May 6, 2012

Personal injury claims for accidents in workplaces are set to rise as the government’s current health and safety management policy is aimed at reducing the need for health and safety regulations and guidelines.

The trade union Unite has revealed that the government’s current policy of not emphasising health and safety regulations will initiate an increase in injuries in workplaces and a resultant rise in ill health.

Len McCluskey, Unite’s General Secretary, reiterated that the government is going out of its way to undermine and reduce health and safety standards. As a result, inspections will be far fewer and there will be an increase in deaths, injuries and ill health.

Trying to forget the reality of workplaces, the government is dismissing the need to supervise and manage workplace activities, he says.

The union has also blamed government officials of substantially under reporting those workers in Britain who die every year because of workplace accidents.

It claims that the real numbers of individuals who die in work-initiated accidents every year are approximately 800% more than the official HSE data for 2011, which stands at 171.

Unite has claimed for a long time that yearly statistics on workplace deaths are just a fraction of the true situation, and are a gross misrepresentation of the actual problem.

The union says that with the use of published statistics, it permits the government to highlight British health and safety conditions as being far superior to anywhere else, and gives a justifiable reason for axing the health and safety responsibilities of British employers. According to the union, it appears that there is no good reason to be complacent.

In response to Workers’ Memorial Day, which was last Saturday, the union has raised a list of demands for the government’s health and safety policy.

The first call is for a stop to a clampdown on provisions for the legal protection for workers in relation to health and safety issues and that any employer who has created a risk must take responsibility, a boost in inspectors’ presence and more useful action to help to prevent the prevalence of occupational diseases.