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Show Chilean PM safety at work matters to UK

19 October 2010

With the visit to the UK this week of the Chilean prime minister, Sebastian Pinera, Unite is calling on the Coalition government not to back slide on essential health and safety at work measures.

Show Chilean PM safety at work matters to UK
Show Chilean PM safety at work matters to UK

The call follows the publication last week of Lord Young’s review into health and safety, which astonishingly said Unite, does not contain a single proposal to reduce workplace deaths, injuries and illness.

Over 20,000 people per year die prematurely in the UK as a result of work-related accidents and illnesses with millions more suffering ill-health because of their jobs. Unite fears that cuts in spending planned by the Coalition government, along with the missed opportunity to improve safety culture with the Young report, could undermine essential protections further.

Unite health and safety officer, Rob Miguel, said: “The visit this week by the Chilean prime minister is a stark reminder of the importance of safety at work.

"It is galling then that only hours after the 33 were freed, Lord Young takes on his role as warm up act for the health and safety cutters in this country.

"Lord Young appears to have no awareness of the problems of occupational disease, and seems to have ignored all the evidence received from experts and unions.

"Everyone has the right to work in a healthy, safe environment. Sadly, this report is a missed opportunity to improve safety at work but we certainly cannot let it usher in an era of even poorer standards.”

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