Socialist Worker

Health and safety cuts to hit building workers who get cancer

Issue No. 2316

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is making a bureaucratic change that could have long term effects on workers’ health.

They are proposing changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

In the name of cutting red tape they are proposing that self-employed workers no longer have to report injuries or illness. This would cover a large number of construction workers who are classified as self-employed—either legitimately or not.

Employers now have to report injuries that keep workers off normal duties for seven or more days, rather than three or more days.

The HSE is also consulting on excluding the requirement to report number of serious illnesses caused at work. These include a series of cancers caused by asbestos and radiation, as well as many illnesses caused by repetitive strains at work.

Changing what is reported doesn’t just affect statistics, but also limits the potential for class action legal claims to fight for compensation.

Both mesothelioma and white finger are down to be excluded. Workers have had to fight to get compensation for these diseases.

View the proposals at the HSE website

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Tue 14 Aug 2012, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2316
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