Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health, which I Chair, has launched a report on Local Authorities and Health and Safety.

You can download and read the report here:

APPG_Local_Authorities_Report_2018_AW

 

Press Release 12th July 2018

MPs Raise Concern About Health and Safety Enforcement

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health has found that the number of health and safety inspectors employed by local authorities has almost halved since 2010, and inspections are down as a result.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing health and safety laws so that employers operating safe working environments, and facilities remain safe for use by members of the public.

The parliamentarians are calling for changes in the way that local authorities enforce the law, as they are concerned that employers who risk the health and safety of their workforce, or of the public, are not being brought to task.

The cross party group feels that there is still a role for local authorities, working in partnership with national enforcement body the Health and Safety Executive. The report makes a number of clear recommendations aimed at improving the way the inspection regime works, which include proposals that the Government should do more to ensure that there is no duplication between the work of the HSE and local councils and also that all new enterprises should be visited at the earliest opportunity to provide them with guidance on how to operate safely and legally.

In publishing the report, the Chair of the all-party group, Jo Stevens MP, said:

“We recognise the financial restraints that many local councils are working under and the many competing demands on their services, but we cannot allow the role of local authorities in important areas such as health and safety to continue to decline. Too many people are injured or made ill at work and, with a strong inspection regime, many of these cases can be prevented. I hope the Government and the HSE will consider and implement the recommendations of this report.”

ENDS

  1. Good report into an important area of local authority work which should be protecting local workers and communities. Even the best resourced local authorities struggle to carry out health and safety interventions for two distinct reasons. Firstly the priority list published by the HSE for local authority proactive inspections is very narrow. If its not on the list you cant inspect. Secondly the HSE instructed Local Authorities in 2015 to stop using the risk rating mechanism. This means that local authority databases have fallen out of date and out of use.

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