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Derek Maylor, Chairperson

Is the HSE itself safe? The regulators annual report shows that its commercialism programme is not making as much money as they expected. The number of prosecutions is in sharp decline - down by 21%. It is shedding staff through a voluntary redundancy scheme. Government funding is down from £230m to £140m and this current period this will be £135.6m.

Brake, the road safety charity, has asked the Transport Research Laboratory for evidence that the recommended thinking time for stopping a vehicle that is in the Highway Code is correct. Brake has evidence that average thinking time should be doubled; even at 30mph this would add 11 metres onto the overall stopping time and a huge difference at motorway speed. The Government should increase the stopping distances in the Highway Code.

Lawrence Waterman OBE CFIOSH will become the Chair of the British Safety Council from November; Lawrence was head of health and safety for the London Olympics and ex IOSH president and delivered on both so it was good to see him mention focusing on protecting vulnerable people in the workplace.

Government cuts are forcing councils around the country to slash spending on critical public health services including sexual health, alcohol misuse and smoking cessation. Funding was cut by £200 million in 2015/16 and a further £600 million will be cut by 2020/21 forcing LA’s to pick which services they fund, and which they can no longer support. The NHS will pick up the bill and the society will pick up the cost.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy review terms of reference have been announced and it will look at building & fire regulations and related compliance and enforcement issues. Domestic tower blocks must be managed safer and recommendations on how to do so must be delivered urgently. It will be led by Dame Judith Hackitt, a qualified engineer and former Chair of the HSE.

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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