A leading trade union lawyer today condemned the Health and Safety Executive’s report that there has been a fall in workplace accidents, saying the fall is merely in reporting of accidents.
Jamie Hanley, partner at trade union law firm Morrish Solicitors said the HSE’s statistics, which show a 16% increase in workplace deaths coupled with a decrease in the number of reportable incidents and minor injuries, suggest the figures hide the real truths.
“A 16% increase in workplace deaths, from 147 to 171, is a massive leap,” said Hanley earlier today. “That evidence suggests that workplace accidents, including deaths, is actually on the increase, but it is reporting of the accidents which has fallen. Working people, fearing for their job security, are less likely to report legitimate accidents and injuries and this is a sign of increased economic pressures. Well known evidence further shows that unionised workplaces with a clear emphasis on health and safety are much safer places to work than non-unionised workplaces.”
“It’s all very well for the government to pay lip service to health and safety while at the same time restricting access to justice for ordinary working people,” said Hanley, referring to government proposals currently going through Parliament as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which restrict access to justice for victims and ordinary working people.
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