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Opinion

Worrying trends in health and safety enforcement

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I recently read an article in a British Safety Council publication referencing HSE annual statistics noting that prosecutions for health and safety breaches were at a record low, with 2018/19 prosecutions down by 23 per cent from 2017/18 numbers, and more than a third since 2014/15.

Concern was expressed that some employers were prepared to ignore health and safety laws believing that they would never be “caught”.

Whilst it has always been the case that some element of employers are prepared to flout health and safety regulations for profit, or simply through recklessness, the concern is whether the proportion prepared to ignore these laws is growing or decreasing; whether the trend is going in the right direction.

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