A TUC-backed report has accused the government of being dishonest about the UK's 'compensation culture' in order to justify cutting basic health and safety protections at work. It warns that thousands of workers suffering deadly occupational diseases are being denied payouts as a result of these cutbacks.
The report, by the workers' health journal Hazards, shows that far from being a compensation free-for-all, as ministers claim, the number of people actually receiving awards for work-related injuries or diseases has fallen by 60% over the last decade - down from 219,183 in 2000/01 to 87,655 in 2011/12.
The report, based on official government figures, shows even the families of those dying from occupational diseases have little chance of securing a payout.
For most occupational cancers the chances of getting any compensation payout is below one in 50. While more than 4,000 workers a year die of work-related chronic bronchitis and emphysema, just 59 received compensation in 2011/12.
Hazards Editor Rory O'Neill, Professor of Occupational Health at Stirling University and the author of the report, said: 'The government's cynical promotion of a compensation culture myth means many workers who are dying in pain are also dying in poverty.
”We are seeing a denial of justice because the government is putting the health of the insurance industry and the safety of the most dangerous rogues in the business community over the health, safety and survival of people at work.'
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