The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has unanimously backed a resolution moved by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) calling for a radical change in health and safety policy.
The resolution demands that the government reverse cuts in the budget of the Health and Safety Executive and that the organisation in future should be properly funded.
The resolution ties the TUC to oppose the theory of self-regulation within the upper echelons of the HSE. A belief in self-regulation has seen resources transferred from inspections and prosecutions to money being spent on providing information and advice.
As a result of the self-regulation regime, just 30 per cent of companies are convicted following the death of a construction worker.
Alan Ritchie, General Secretary of construction union UCATT, in his speech moving the motion, said: “This nonsense described as self-regulation should send a shiver down the spine of every worker in the UK. The facts stand for themselves: self-regulation has not worked, does not work and will never work.”
The motion also re-committed the TUC to campaign for statutory directors’ duties with regard to health and safety, which would create the possibility that company bosses found guilty of killing a worker could be imprisoned.