A freedom of information request has uncovered a 25 per cent reduction in the number of health and safety inspectors
Health and safety inspectors are a fundamental check on the implementation of health and safety legislation in construction sites across the UK. However, statistics obtained as part of a freedom of information request showed there has been a 25 per cent decline in the numbers of health and safety inspectors in the UK.
The statistics show a worrying trend
The union Unite said there has been a 25 per cent reduction in the number of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors since 2010. In fact, figures showed that between 2010 and 2017 the volume of inspectors fell from 1,311 to 980.
While it could be argued that the reduction of inspectors is not directly related to the number of accidents or incidents, the figures do raise concerns relating to the application of health and safety on construction sites.
Speaking about the figures, Unite’s acting general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “HSE inspectors play a vital role in keeping workers safe.
“Rogue bosses who are prepared to break safety laws, are only kept in check by the fear of being caught and punished. Fewer inspectors mean more bosses willing to risk workers’ lives to boost profits.
“In these circumstances it is more important than ever that union safety reps are given the training, support and time to conduct their duties and keep their fellow workers safe.”
International Workers’ Memorial Day
The statistics come on the heels of International Workers’ Memorial Day. It is a remembrance day for all those who have been killed at work. The day also aims to promote more awareness of health and safety, so that future incidents may be averted.