UCATT disgust at Government move to "Commercialise" the HSE

Construction union UCATT have expressed their total disgust at Government plans to make the Health and Safety Executive “become more commercial”.

The decision was announced by Department of Work and Pensions Minister Mike Penning following the publication of the Government’s triennial review into the future of the HSE. While the review largely supported the continued role of the HSE and supported it becoming more commercial in very limited areas and in a very limited way, Mr Penning went much further.

He said: “I welcome these recommendations, but want to go further to introduce reforms of HSE to ensure that it delivers value for money to the taxpayer, whilst ensuring safety for the nation. There is considerable potential for HSE to become more commercial in outlook and in delivery.

“Therefore, I have asked HSE to begin work immediately to examine commercial models for HSE in collaboration with HMT and Cabinet office, and to review the HSE Board to ensure it has the right skills to oversee future efficiencies and commercial income generating options.”

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “The plans for the HSE are disgusting and workers will be sickened by them. The HSE’s role is to protect workers not to generate money. This is simply the Government’s latest attack on safety laws and is putting commercial concerns before the lives and safety of workers.”

The HSE is facing cuts of at least 35% to its budget by the end of this Parliament in 2015.

Mr Murphy added: “It would be helpful if Government ministers departed from their swivel eyed mania about selling off the family silver and actually took an interest in the dangers regularly faced by workers.”

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