Nearly half of workplaces in the UK have never had a health and safety inspection, according to the results of a TUC survey published this week.
The survey of workplace health and safety reps also revealed that 80 per cent of construction workplaces have never received a health and safety inspection. There were 65,000 work-related injuries and 67,000 work-related illnesses in the construction industry during 2015, but just one in six reps reported being aware of an inspection in the last year.
Workplaces with health and safety reps in place tend to be larger workplaces where there are greater risks to workers.
Manufacturing is the only sector in which a majority of reps, 57 per cent, said there had been an inspection during the past year.
Forty-six per cent of all respondents said that to their knowledge, their workplace has never had an inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and just one in four reps reported an inspection taking place within the past 12 months.
In recent years, local councils have reduced workplace inspections by 97 per cent. By 2019/20, government funding of the HSE will have almost halved.
TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “It’s deeply worrying that nearly half of health and safety reps say their workplace has never been inspected by the HSE.
“I am appalled that 80 per cent of reps in construction say their workplaces haven’t been inspected. Construction workplaces can be some of the most dangerous places to work.
“Huge cuts to the HSE and to local authorities continue to undermine vital safety protections at work. That means more workers at risk of accidents in unsafe workplaces every day. It’s time to fund the HSE properly and make sure bosses know that they can’t get away with chancing workers’ lives in dangerous workplaces.”