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  • International Workplace
  • 6 April 2006
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[Audio] Has the HSE lost its bite?

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Is the HSE moving away from enforcement? Is it letting safety criminals go free? And just why is the number of health and safety prosecutions falling? Workplace Law put these questions, and others, to Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the HSE, to see how he would respond.

In February the Hazards Campaign, a coalition of occupational disease victims’ organisations, safety campaign groups and union organisations, launched a stinging attack against the HSE’s enforcement policy claiming that the HSE is the “watchdog that dare not bite”.

Workplace Law MagazineIn the latest issue of Workplace Law Magazine the issues and questions raised by the Hazards Campaign, and other criticisms of the HSE, are explored in order to answer the question: has the HSE lost its bite?

Areas covered in the interview include:

  • Is the HSE taking on too much by trying to be both an enforcement and advisory body?
  • Why do many injuries not result in a visit from an inspector?
  • Is it true that the HSE only conducts “single quickie” inspections?
  • Is the HSE moving away from traditional enforcement to more self-regulation?
  • Why is the number of prosecutions dropping?
  • Who decides who gets inspected? And do inspectors carry out follow-up visits?
  • Doesn’t the work of inspectors now involve a greater administrative burden meaning less time is spent on actual inspections?

Workplace Law members can download the interview with Geoffrey Podger as an audio file.

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