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COMMISSION CLAMPS DOWN ON LAX HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES

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The Health & Safety Commission has threatened to act against any council it suspects of an inadequate approach to c...
The Health & Safety Commission has threatened to act against any council it suspects of an inadequate approach to cutting workplace accidents.

Bill Callaghan, chair of the Health & Safety Commission has written to every leader and chief executive in the UK urging them to examine their performance as health and safety regulators.

The HELA National Picture 2001 report, which gives work-related injury and ill-health figures for businesses inspected by councils, shows the number of full-time equivalent council enforcement officers fell by eight percent - a drop for the third year running.

Visits to premises fell from 332,000 to 313,000 as a result, and the number of enforcement notices issued fell by six percent during the last year.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Mr Callaghan said: 'The commission will consider conducting an inquiry into any authority, should a continued decline in their preparedness to devote resources to health and safety enforcement prejudice achievement of the revitalising health and safety strategy targets.'

Provisional figures show the number of reported injuries fell by almost 7,000, but the number of deaths had increased from 32 to 44.

But councils seem to have improved their targeting of high risk premises, and inspectors' visiting rates have increased.

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