Government cutbacks on workplace inspections risk increased injury and lives

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date: 25 October 2011

embargo: For immediate release

Commenting on an announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this morning (Tuesday) that the government is set to cap workplace inspections for small companies to just two a year to cut back on 'red tape', TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'This is another example of the government putting the right to make a fast buck before our health and safety and our lives - although at least the Deputy Prime Minister acknowledges the dangers of the 'scrap it all' line peddled by the Tory diehards.

'Regulation is there to protect us all from businesses that rip us off, trash our environment, and risk our health - or even our lives. However, it is only of use if it is enforced. Enforcement should not be seen as a burden on business, but instead a way of ensuring that good businesses are not undercut by cowboys who disregard the law and cut corners, whether it is on paying VAT or not polluting our rivers.

'Cuts in enforcement will put even more of us at risk of damaged health or injury or death in our workplaces.

'A brand new survey of small and medium-sized enterprises published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), shows that employment law and health and safety regulation do not even feature in their list of concerns. It would appear that employer organisations are pursuing a fanatical right wing agenda that does not actually reflect the concerns of their members.'


- The SME Business Barometer published by BIS in October 2011 is available at

- All TUC press releases can be found at


Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: [email protected]
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: [email protected]

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