Putson, Spokesman, 183 pages, paperback, £15
How many times have the tabloid headlines
screamed: ‘Health and safety gone mad!’
The idea that the rules governing our
health and safety are an ‘albatross around the neck of British businesses’, as
David Cameron announced recently, gives a clue to the reasoning behind the
Dave Putson’s book, Safe at Work? is a welcome riposte. Putson, a health and safety rep
for London courts, traces the development of health and safety legislation,
from the campaign to eradicate ‘phossy jaw’ suffered by Victorian match women
and legal disputes over compensation, to the role of factory inspectors.
Before the comprehensive 1974 health and
safety legislation, there was carnage across industry, with death and serious
injury at work commonplace. The new laws were an important breakthrough, yet
the number of people who still lose their lives or contract serious illness is
frighteningly high – in 2012-13 some 148 people died at work.
Safe at Work? cuts through the fog of
The book has an introduction by Mark
Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union.
Labels: Book Review, Dave Putson, Health and Safety, Labour Research, Labour Research Department, LRD Publications, Mark Serwotka, Safe at Work?