The decriminalisation of death and injury at work

Interesting report on health and safety crimes – stats and enforcement (or lack of it)

From the summary on the web site –

“This briefing argues that fatalities and injuries caused through work are far more prevalent than the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) currently reports. The authors find that more than 80 per cent of officially recorded work-related fatalities are filtered out from the HSE’s headline figure and remain buried in other categories in the official data. After re-assessing the scale of the harms caused, Tombs and Whyte conclude that being a victim of a work-related fatality or injury is far more likely than experiencing conventionally defined and measured violence and homicide.”

From me –

This document also argues that many cases of death and injury at work that are a result of companies breaching health and safety laws, however, most of these cases remain unreported and unprosecuted because the Health and Safety executive, the body responsible for monitoring and prosecuting companies who breach such laws has been downsized in recent years.

Please also note that while the government is throwing money at things like operation trident to try and reduce gun crime, it is taking away money from the agency responsible for prosecuting companies who cause death through negligence at work – when far more people die at work compared to those who die from gun crime.

The report is by Professor Steve Tombs and Dr David Whyte (June 2008)

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