National Health and Safety Advisory Conference 23rd and 24th February 2021

Our Ref: HSR/2/23
Head Office Circular: NP/65/21
22nd February 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/63/21, dated 19th February 2021, I attach to this Circular a new publication from the Institute of Employment Rights, “HSE and Covid at Work: a Case of Regulatory Failure”, together with a covering letter.

Emails were issued to all delegates and attendees today containing these documents together with the final agenda, feedback form and a reminder of the Zoom login details.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary

22 February 2021

Dear RMT member

RE: HSE and Covid at work: a case of regulatory failure

We are very pleased to offer you an electronic copy of the latest publication from the Institute.

As we approach the first anniversary of the declaration of the global Coronavirus pandemic, this timely and informed report highlights the extent to which the government failed to protect the health and wellbeing of UK workers. Most notably, the report examines the role played by the UK’s health and safety enforcement body – the Health and Safety Executive - and concludes that it failed in its duties to protect workers, promote relevant health and safety laws and prosecute rule-breaking employers.

From the outset, workplaces were recognised as a major source for the spread of the disease. Yet the UK government downplayed the dangers, announcing that workplaces were ‘Covid-secure’ thanks in part to HSE ‘spot-checks’. This report provides the true extent of the shockingly low levels of checks performed by HSE and examines the reasons why. The report also asks why the UK’s 100,000 trade union health and safety representatives were not called upon to assist in securing the safety of their workplaces. Instead, tax-payers money was used by the HSE to outsource inspection to private companies to undertake phone call checks to employers.
IER health and safety inquiry: Call for evidence from RMT reps
The report concludes with a list of recommendations – the first of which is the need for a major independent inquiry into the future of health and safety in the UK. So the Institute will be conducting such an investigation in the year ahead and we’d love to hear your vies. If you are interested in participating in that project, please email me your details and the part you play in securing safety at work.

Please respond to

All best wishes

cad signature

Carolyn Jones