What General Election Means For Health & Safety
With the May 7th general election now fast approaching I looked into what different parties coming into power would mean for Health and Safety.
This will be the first time we have had an election on the new system of definite periods. Meaning we are now going through a phase where there will be little or no new legislation introduced whilst the political parties of all interpretations are starting to set out their stalls. However most political narrators seem to agree that the range of possible outcomes for the general election is harder to predict than ever.
This article portrays what a vote for each political party could mean purely from a Health and Safety perspective.
Following some public disappointment with the outcomes of the last general elections we are seeing a surge in votes for other political parties such as the Greens and UKIP. In the European parliament UKIP’s MEP’s have consistently voted against measures to improve health and safety, most notably claiming that white asbestos is ‘harmless’ despite overwhelming evidence.
The conservatives share a similiar stance towards Health and Safety, and have historically opposed it. Back in 2014 a popular conservatives blog stated the HSE ‘should be abolished’.
A win for UKIP or the conservatives in the general election could lead to relaxed Health and Safety regulations. Meaning employees would not always be liable for an incident in their workplace resulting from a failure in their Health and Safety systems.
Labour were the party who originally made significant improvements in occupational health and safety standards back in the 1940’s. Ed Milliband has previously backed a campaign to reverse ‘conservative led attacks’ on health and safety policy. Particularly in the construction industry; this came about following a highly successful lobby of Parliament organised by UCATT and Unite where over 200 construction workers met MPs and explained why the Government’s attacks on safety were risking lives.
A win for Labour could result in the reversal of previous changes to Health and Safety regulations that we have seen previously.
Natalie Bennett of the Green Party is a believer in Health and Safety policies being beneficial to workers. I came across an article she had written about her views on the potential slackening of health and safety regulations which you can read here
A vote in the general election for any party will no doubt change some aspects of Health and Safety, however the election debate will most likely be dominated by issues such as immigration, the economy & the NHS but each of these in itself would impact on the wellbeing of workers.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter