Labour Research (September 2016)

Health & Safety Matters

Labour Party pledges on health and safety

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell pledged to trade unionists and safety campaigners at the annual Hazards conference at Keele University that the health and safety manifesto of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party would reflect the Hazards Campaign’s demands and that health and safety would be a key issue in opposition. 

The campaign’s demands include ending the so-called Better Regulation agenda; reversing the budget cuts in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities; removing cancer-causing substances from workplaces and eradicating asbestos from schools and other public buildings, workplaces and homes; and investing in strong health and safety laws, strict enforcement and supporting strong active trade unions to prevent deaths, injuries, and illness caused by work. 

McDonnell promised to address the lack of enforcement as well as the commercialisation of the HSE, and to ensure that there would be no watering down of the regulatory environment post-Brexit. 

And McDonnell said that it was not possible to “establish an effective health and safety regime until we restore trade union rights in this country”.

Hilda Palmer from the Hazards Campaign urged delegates to take part in a new campaign and send prime minister Theresa May a Hazards Campaign postcard to remind her: “Effective regulation and strict enforcement of safety laws saves lives. Please do not neglect them.”

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