Prospect Conference supports campaign for properly resourced HSE

12 June 2022

Many of the government agencies where Prospect has members are facing long-term problems due to under-resourcing and capacity issues.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Health and Safety Executive where austerity measures since 2010 have left the agency, in the view of our members, unable to adequately fulfil its regulatory function.

The pandemic has illustrated just how close to breaking point HSE is, with many covid security checks left to a simple checklist and tick box done on the phone.

Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said:

“Our members at HSE provide a vital service to the public but they have been left unable to do it to the best of their ability due to government cuts. Numbers are so low that even with a recruitment drive it is impossible to train enough inspectors, at the same time as many are being lured into the private sector.

“Many will be surprised to hear that there are more MPs than there are main grade HSE inspectors .”

Prospect National Conference has passed a motion calling for a campaign to bring HSE resourcing back up to acceptable levels. The motion instructs Prospect to campaign for an appropriately resourced HSE calling for:

  1. Sufficient funding to be made available to HSE to reverse its decline and a significant increase in professional staff numbers that undertake/support its regulatory functions.
  2. A renewed focus on increasing the levels of quality inspection and investigation activities of HSE, including delivering justice for victims, higher levels of formal enforcement and prosecution were warranted.
  3. Exploring funding streams – retain prosecution fines, hypothecation of corporate tax or risk-based levy on Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance.

In supporting the motion, safety rep Rachel Garrick said:

“This motion affects all of us. We are all aware as safety reps that the creation of the health and safety inspectorate correlates closely with year-on-year reductions in fatalities at work.”

“It is essential that we have a competent inspectorate which is invested in to keep us all safe.”

Garry Graham continued:

“Health and Safety is one of the founding issues for the labour movement and having a properly funded and functional inspectorate is vital for safe work. We will be looking for the  whole union movement to support our campaign.”

Health and safety inspector

For a fully funded HSE

The campaign for health and safety regulation to get the resources it needs

Public Services

From protecting our rivers to keeping us safe, Prospect members do vital work across a range of professions.