Letter: A threat to health and safety

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Sir: I read with interest the letter from the director general of the Health and Safety Executive (23 November). J. D. Rimington appears to be unaware that the Department of Trade and Industry proposals will enable ministers at that department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to repeal health and safety regulations through the mechanism of a non-amendable statutory instrument that involves little debate and demands no public consultation.

The 1974 Health and Safety At Work Act requires all legislation to 'maintain or improve' existing conditions. The Government is devising ways to bypass this requirement - and indeed, Mr Rimington's own organisation.

If it is not of concern to Mr Rimington, it is surely of 'acute concern to the public' that the Government will have the powers to remove health and safety protection in the future as it sees fit, without the need to test it against the above criteria.

Yours sincerely,


MP for Rother Valley (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

23 November

The writer is Labour employment spokesman.