Trade union Unite has claimed the government is “hiding behind statistics” and that workplace deaths could be being underestimated by as much as 800 per cent.
Unite said that the statistics used by the government allowed it to suggest that health and safety in the workplace is improving and accidents are decreasing.
The union said that the real number of people killed at work each year is around 1,400, eight times larger than the official Health and Safety Executive figures of 171.
Len McCluskey, the union’s general secretary, said: “The government is hell bent on reducing health and safety regulations, and standards. It will lead to fewer inspections, less enforcement and more deaths, injuries and ill-health at work.”
The organisation has called for greater legal protection for workers, and noted that the firms responsible for safety breaches should be held accountable.
Unite has also called for more health and safety inspectors and more action to prevent occupational diseases in the UK.
Posted by Alison Spriggs