Letter: Tories cut down on factory safety

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The Independent Online
Tories cut down on factory safety

Sir: The explosion at Albright and Wilson (report, 4 October) should focus public attention on changes being made by the Tory government to the inspection activities of the Health and Safety Executive.

On 17 July this year, the Department of Trade and Industry ran a deregulation seminar for the chemical industry. The GMB was there and heard government ministers beg industry to tell it what health and safety laws to get rid of. Yet in 1994, after one of the most searching reviews of health and safety legislation, the Government accepted a report showing there was no "unnecessary burden" placed on UK firms by such laws.

In March this year, the Government kicked out 85 of its most senior health and safety inspectors to save money. It also reorganised the whole of the Health and Safety Executive chemical division.

Encouraging "self-regulation" while restricting inspection activities only leads to the lives of workers and the public being put at risk. The Tories say that safety standards will be maintained. We can only expect that safety standards will fall.


Director, Health and Environment, GMB

London SW19