Firms 'failing' on workplace accidents

Potentially fatal conditions have endured in British workplaces, an academic has argued, with firms only footing a small fraction of the costs of occupational injuries and diseases.

The report – Who pays? You do – from University of Stirling professor Rory O’Neill suggests that thousands of lives could be saved and compensation claims avoided if businesses did not push the cost of accidents in the workplace onto the public.

His research demonstrates 25 per cent of the cost of occupational accidents is borne by businesses, despite the fact that businesses create 100 per cent of the risks.

"The business lobby bleats continually about the ‘burden’ of health and safety regulation but the burden of lax workplace safety standards is carried almost entirely by sick and injured workers, bereaved families and the public purse," Mr O’Neill explained.

This week saw the passing of International Workers’ Memorial Day, which commemorates all those killed at or by work.

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