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Derek Maylor, Chairperson

We all looked at the recent HSE review on the effectiveness of the RIDDOR reporting regulations, which we all know are already massively under reported, ensuring incidents that need reporting are reported and action taken against those who broke regulations is actually implemented.

As the TUC noted we need to capture less common occupational health conditions that were reversed in 2013 such as poisoning due to certain chemical exposures and the long-term focus on work-related ill health.

We need the evidence to improve worker health for investigation and enforcement to prevent workers being at risk of life-threatening illnesses due to workplace exposures. HSEs intention to return to the reportable occupational diseases that the conservative government removed and then even highlighted their 2013 changes to the reporting regulations as its “health and safety burdens to business” deregulation successes. Moving the goalposts was never the best way of protecting workers and the public.

The manufacturers’ organisation EEF and Arco reveals that 97% of companies want no immediate change in health and safety regulations if the UK leaves the EU. Nearly half wanted no change at all though many would like a review of health and safety regulations, a review would be fine but depends on by whom, and who is involved. Unions must be involved any conclusions from any review and not merely “consulted” as part of the process with the comments ending up in the bin. Grandfather rights are fine but we do not trust any future conservative government, if we were to be subjected to one, to continue that.

The HSE have launched their planning programme for Brexit on 29 March 2019 including detailed stakeholder mapping across all businesses of the EU exit programme and the Coord have registered to receive regular updates. They are promoting stakeholder events and we will seek to be involved.

A recent Parliamentary EDM, 1792 by Mark Hendrick, noted the twentieth anniversary of the of the EU’s Donnelly Report which introduced the toughest car crash standards in the world and has saved more than seventy thousand lives across the EU since its enforcement.

The take up of that report helped to cut the vehicle occupant deaths across the whole of the EU by half since 1998. It was subsequently adopted by the United Nation's World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicles Regulations and accepted by over sixty countries saving hundreds of thousands of lives all around the world. He also called on the government to improve vehicle occupant safety further and prevent further avoidable deaths.

As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:

*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies

Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.

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