Health and Safety Matters

Health and safety at work

Why Health and Safety in the workplace matters

Health and Safety matters. No-one goes to work to get hurt and everyone is entitled to a safe working environment. Legislation and regulation protecting individuals from harm while earning a living has been hard-won.  

Unfortunately, recent Government actions have aimed to turn back the clock on health safety and reduce the rights and protections available to us all.  Digby Brown have actively campaigned on these important issues, including;

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013:  Section 69 of this Act, which was originally introduced as a bill covering environment-friendly investment and commercial regulation, amended Section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, a cornerstone of workplace safety legislation. 

Section 69 of the 2013 act removed civil liability from employers for health and safety breeches.  This regressive move means employees will have to establish negligence on the part of their employer or another party. There is a real danger that some individuals injured at work will no longer have access to justice and fair and appropriate compensation.

Decline in Health and Safety Executive inspections: The numbers of workplace accidents, and individuals suffering injury and loss, had decreased over the years as a result of legislation, regulation and a robust inspection regime led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the organisation responsible with maintaining and improving workplace safety across the UK.

Digby Brown campaigned against Section 69, which was initially rejected by the House of Lords but forced though by the UK Government. Ahead of the introduction of the law, we took out full-page newspaper adverts highlighting the change and our continuing commitment to representing people injured at work.

We’ve highlighted our concern at a decline in the numbers of inspections HSE are undertaking and the exclusion of some sectors with above-average historical levels of accidents, from unannounced inspections.  A report last year by Stirling University highlighted these important issues.