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August 2019

Derek Maylor, Chairperson:

So, under the new Prime Minister Johnson reshuffle Amber Rudd remains Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which has the remit for workplace health, and that avoids having a seventh person at the top since 2015.

Shows how unconcerned the government is on workplace safety when the role of Women and Equalities Minister has just been added to her supervision. Complete disregard for the workplace, for your pension, for women or for equality. 

On July 1st the HSE report “Understanding the impact to business to business of health and safety rules” was released to silence from the government when it disclosed that 70% of SMEs said there is no Health and Safety burden and most feel current policies are sensible and proportionate to the risks. (Available from the Unionsafety E-Library)

Despite government ministers repeatedly claiming health and safety are burdens to business under its better regulation agenda, HSE say that paying any further attention to regulation will not bring any improvements to the workplace. Johnson and co will not like this consequently they will be looking at the new Chief Executive Sarah Albon as soon as she starts her role in September, and we will look to attend her first HSE Board meeting that month.

As previously mentioned on the website, there are other recent HSE statistics showing that workers between 60 and 64 years of age are twice as likely to die in a workplace accident as everyone else. One quarter of all deaths in work are over the age of 60, this is totally disproportionate to the ages of workers and there is a need for an in-depth investigation into the issues and causational factors behind these statistics. 

EU legislation now make electric vehicles have a sound generator to assist pedestrians with hearing loss, although this will not be retrospective. Only used when reversing or when traveling at 12mph or less and there is an option to switch it off for a short duration. Guide Dogs UK say pedestrians four times more likely to be hit by an electric/hybrid car than conventional engine.

As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:

*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies

Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.

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