Conservative MEPs want more effective protection of workers

25-Nov-2015 @ 16:30

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Simpler and more effective European rules covering the safety of workers were demanded today by Conservative MEPs as they voted against moves to impose further legislation on businesses.

Employment and Social Affairs spokesman Anthea McIntyre said that while the European Parliament's new strategic framework on health and safety at work broadly addressed the right issues, Conservatives could not support proposals for new laws covering harassment and violence in the workplace and musco-skeletal conditions.

"We have to simplify European health and safety legislation and we have to find a way to remove administrative burdens while maintaining protection for workers," she said. "By removing complexity I believe we will increase compliance.

"Action taken at EU level must be based on clearly identified risk and be proportionate to that risk. We cannot eliminate risk altogether but we can manage it.

"If we wanted to eliminate all risks we would never cross the road. Instead we manage that risk. We educate people to take care when crossing the road, we look both ways, we have traffic signals."

The UK already has one of the best records in the world for workplace health and safety. For example, 48,000 people were involved in building the Olympic Stadium in London without any fatalities during the course of the project.

The Health and Safety Executive believes that the simplification of current EU rules could ease the burden on 220,000 small and medium-sized businesses with no impact on health and safety protection.

Miss McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands, added: "We want to see simplification, increased compliance and the management of risk with the engagement of workers."

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