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Safety First?
Did the Health and Safety Commission do its Job?

By Christopher Gifford
June 2001
Spokesman Books
ISBN: 0-85124-652-4
29 pages
$6.95 paper original

This pamphlet is about how opportunities to protect people from abuse were taken or missed in the 25 year history of the Health & Safety Commission. In July 1999, the Commission published a Consultation Document to mark its 25th anniversary with the title Revitalising Health and Safety. It refers to a 25 years improving tend in fatal injury rates to employees, but it also stated concern that deaths in the (recently privatised) 'Extractive and Utility Supply Industries' had risen from 4 in 1994/5 to 17 in 1997/8.

Christopher Gifford, a retired HM Inspector of Mines and Quarries, and consultant engineer, examines some of the successes and failures of the last 25 years of health and safety regulation. Failure is as much deserving of attention as success if future success is to be assured. He argues that not all the changes in the world of work have been beneficial and many of those that have been detrimental are not inevitable and can be reversed.

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