Workers' lives put at risk

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The Independent Online
Sir: So, John Major wants another op-out (report, 11 July). He says British workers want to put their lives at risk by working long hours.

The Health and Safety Executive guide Working Hours is clear: "Major increases in the working day (or night) of the individual, especially where breaks are inadequate, can result in fatigue and loss of concentration. This increases the risks of accidents."

The proposed opt-out from European-based health and safety law is consistent with the continual attempts by the Government to reduce health and safety standards.

They have cut resources to the Health and Safety Executive for the next two years, abolished the workplace safety representatives' training grant, and they are still hunting around desperately to get someone in industry to complain about health and safety law. Opinion is now being sought in a series of Department of Trade and Industry seminars on deregulation.

STEVE PICKERING

Deputy General Secretary

GMB

London W19

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