A HAZARDOUS AND CORROSIVE RECORD OF TRIVIALISING AND DEREGULATING HEALTH AND SAFETY
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act. In the health and safety debate at TUC Congress in Liverpool, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, highlighted the dangers of the Coalition Government’s deregulation agenda on children and young people and the school workforce.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“This Coalition has a hazardous and corrosive record of trivialising and deregulating health, safety and welfare provisions, putting at risk working people and pupils in our schools.
“The consequence is that recent figures show a rise in deaths at work. Schools can now be set up in disused office blocks and factories. Increased freedoms for schools have led to lack of compliance with basic health and safety provisions. Too many schools remain riddled with asbestos.
“It is simply unacceptable to dismiss health and safety regulations and guidance as unnecessary red tape. Ideology should not take precedence over the health and safety of pupils and staff in our schools.”
Dave Kitchen, NASUWT National Executive Member, who spoke in the debate, said:
“The Coalition’s decision to categorise schools as low-risk workplaces, despite the evidence of the daily risks teachers and pupils face, is appalling.
“Parents and the public must understand how important health and safety legislation is in supporting working people and in ensuring that our children and young people are safe to learn.”