The number of health and safety inspectors employed by local authorities (LA) has almost halved since 2010, from 1,020 inspectors employed in 2010 to 543 in 2017, a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health has found.
The fall in inspectors and inspection activity has correlated with a ‘very large’ decline in enforcement activity, says the report published on 12 July.
In 2010/11, 6,780 enforcement notices were issued by LAs. In 2016/17 it was 2,420; a 64 per cent decline.
Although fewer employers are being punished, it has not corresponded with better health and safety standards as ‘there has been no fall in injury or ill-health statistics.'
In fact, HSE’s figures for all sectors shows an increase in health-related illnesses in the years since 2010, it says.
The APPG is using the report to call for better data on the health and safety work of LAs, noting that LA visits for public health or licensing purposes are sometimes logged as inspections for health and safety. They also recommend that inspections are health as well as safety focused and for an extension of HSE’s ‘fee for intervention’ scheme to apply to LAs.
Chair of the all-party group, Jo Stevens MP, said: “We cannot allow the role of local authorities in important areas such as health and safety to continue to decline. Too many people are injured or made ill at work and, with a strong inspection regime, many of these cases can be prevented.”
APPG report at: tinyurl.com/ydbdcx7r
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