The number of in-house health and safety technician positions in the private sector is expected to increase significantly, due to the scheduled cuts to the Government’s health and safety watchdog. Likewise, as companies outsource typical health and safety responsibilities to skilled contractors, national positions in this area are also expected to increase.
The state of the construction industry is causing industry wide concerns, due to the forecasted reduction in work place inspections by the Health and Safety Executive. However, it has been stated that this will serve to boost numbers of available health and safety jobs. Having a business that follows safe working practices not only makes humane sense – it also makes sense for economic reasons. According to lead researchers, a significant number of hours of productivity are lost due to avoidable accidents that occur in the workplace, and the bereavements that result from such accidents. The Bureau of Labour Statistics has predicted that over 12,000 healthy and safety technician positions will be made available in the United Kingdom by 2018 – a staggering 14% increase. The HSE budget is set to be cut by 35%, and as a result the compulsory health and safety inspections required for employers will no longer be in place. Instead, authoritative sources have stated that HSE inspectors will be concentrating on particularly high risk work sites and scenarios, while members of other bodies of industry will be encouraged to ensure that self-regulation is carried out.
Complaints that places of work are becoming increasingly dangerous due to cuts have been widely made by unions. The construction industry has seen a shocking increase in fatalities of 15% in the past year – UCATT announced that this added up to 21 separate memorial services in June as a result of work place accidents. George Guy, acting general secretary of UCATT, is quoted in response as saying “The Conservative-led government’s financial attacks on the HSE will make workplaces more dangerous and will lead to increased deaths and injuries of workers in future.”
This article was written by freelance journalist Gemma Simms on behalf of Acre Resources. Acre Resources are an ethical and socially responsible health and safety recruitment specialist based in the UK. They advertise a number of national and international health and safety jobs.