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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default This One Is More For Our U.k. Friends

    I got this from the safety notices I get pretty much daily, and was wondering what the "word on the street" is regarding:

    HEALTH & SAFETY LAW TRAVELOGUE - THE U.K.

    Norm Keith - bio
    By Norm Keith, B.A., LL.B., CRSP

    Britain is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and one of the first countries to enact workplace health and safety laws. But in the past two decades, Britain has been governed by political leaders who believe in de-regulation, including in the area of workplace safety. There has even been talk of privatizing the Health and Safety Executive, the British equivalent to OSHA. But this has not happened.

    Health & Safety Profile: The United Kingdom

    Population: 60.3 million
    Labor Force: 29.6 million
    Total Accidents: 30,666
    Total Fatalities: 168
    Life Expectancy: 78.27 years
    GDP per Capita: $27,700
    Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy and Democratic State
    OHS Legislation: OHS statute and regulations. Regulatory enforcement is moderate. Criminal enforcement is minimal.
    (Statistics are from 2003)

    About Norm Keith

    Norm Keith, BA, LL.B., CRSP, is a partner in Gowlings' Employment and Labour Group, specializing in occupational health and safety law, workers' compensation, privacy law, labour and employment law, and alternate dispute resolution. He has extensive experience with wrongful dismissal, human rights, labour arbitration, judicial reviews, Ontario Labour Relation Board cases and fiduciary duty lawsuits.

    To view his bio, click here. You can contact Norm by email here or by phone at (416) 862-5699.
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Default

    Deaths at work were truly appaling before the 1974 H&SW act, the act has made greedy employers who care little for their workforce thinking of maximising profits, comply with the law.

    Even the Fire Service was revolutionised, wioth thing like Dynamic Risk Assessment, accountability and so on reducing Firefighter deaths to around one per year (For 60,000 mainly career Firefighters)

    De-Regulation is a big thing in the UK at the moment...it doesn't bode well for most people I fear, especially for things such as H&S. We have seen Fire regulations, one strictly enforced by the Fire Service now turned over to 'self-Regulation' most Buildings are modern and safe so this isn't an issue...those who do still get killed at fires in work tend to be in immigrant sweatshops where they don't follow the law anyway.

    H&S self regulation is a whoile different matter. It would be no time at all before short cuts were being made and people we dying...including in this job.

    The UK is an International giant for its size... only 60,000,000 people but stiull the 4th (or is it 6th now) largest ecomony.... we like our profits and we like to have a few pound in our pockets... people will soon cut corners to keep those pounds in their pocket.... "Don't bother with scaffold, a ladder will do, no need for those respirators in that chemical tank, take these paper masks..."

    Not a good idea.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 08-23-2005 at 04:18 AM.
    Steve Dude
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  3. #3
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default

    As Steve has said, deregulation of our Government run Health & Safety Executive is not a good idea. The already "diluted" powers they have will be diluted even further as companies requiring inspection will go to the lowest bidder and do the minimum possible needed to escape proescution.

    Enforcement of H&S law is another thing. The "Factory Inspectors", as they are known, are busy people, very busy people. Owner of less scrupulous establishments know there is'nt much chance of a surprise inspection. Transgressors of H&S law will normally wait months and years before a case gets before a court, by which time the charges (which run up to corporate manslaughter), will have been sufficiently watered down by their defence, meaning a "slap on the wrists" fine. A case I had some involvement in a few years back, where a bricklayer fell 3 storeys, because the site manager had'nt provided saftey barriers around a lift shaft resulted in one fatality, and a £6000 fine. And this was proescuted by the H&S Exec. Lord knows what will happen if it gets privatised....
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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