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TUC launches updated workplace safety guide

The latest edition of the TUC's safety publication 'Hazards at Work' has been published amid growing concerns over cuts to workplace safety inspections.

The guide, now in its 30th year, warns of a 'hostile' political climate to health and safety that has resulted in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) being prevented from making proactive visits to many workplaces to check that employers are working in ways that don't put their staff at risk.

The government has cut the HSE budget by 35%, and local authority safety inspection teams are also working with substantially reduced funding, at a time when the UK's safety record appears to be getting worse.

In 2010/11, the latest figures available, there was a 16% increase in deaths across all workplaces, with some industries such as construction (22%) seeing an even bigger rise.

The TUC says that the current upward trend in workplace fatalities will be not be reversed unless there is an increase in the enforcement of health and safety law in all workplaces.

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