A campaign led by Unchecked.uk and co-ordinated by the Ecology Trust contends that regulators such as the Health and Safety Executive, Food Standards Agency and Environment Agency are operating with, on average, 50% less funding than ten years ago.
Studies found that in the health and safety sector there was a 53% cut in funding for the HSE between 2009-10 and 2016-17 and that over the period: -
- The number of prosecutions brought fell by 25% (England and Wales), and
- Unannounced inspections were down by 40%
Unchecked.uk state that investment in the HSE is vitally important to UK growth and competitiveness by addressing key risk areas such as: -
- agriculture, waste and construction sectors and among small and medium-sized enterprises where there are still high injury rates,
- occupational diseases, such as asbestos and occupational cancer, and
- work-related road safety, a growing threat in the UK’s increasing road-mobile economy.
Spokesperson Emma Rose said, “We have launched Unchecked.uk to show that vital protections can no longer be taken for granted. Despite major progress, Britain still faces stiff health and safety challenges.”