Expert warns government on HSE cuts

The government has been warned that its planned reductions to the budget of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may result in the body's educational role being weakened.

According to Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, smaller businesses in particular will struggle with this change, which could in turn lead to a greater number of accidents at work taking place.

Last week (March 21st 2011), it was announced by the Department of Work and Pensions that the HSE is to see its funding cut, therefore meaning the organisation will now only inspect workplaces deemed as "high risk".

However, Mr Bibbings explained that while this is a "matter of concern", the fact that the HSE will no longer have the means to advise businesses on their health and safety policies is also worrying.

"While obviously we may need to monitor issues arising from the new enforcement doctrine, filling the awareness-raising, information and advisory gap is actually the much more crucial issue," he added.

Posted by Patrick White
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29/03/2011 17:00