Public Health Warning Over Reduced Safety Inspections
Public safety could be put at risk by a drastic reduction in health and safety inspections, according to industry experts.
Britain’s Health and Safety Executive has lost over 18 per cent of its workforce in the last four years and a third fewer inspections took place in 2012 than the previous year.
Overall, the agency’s budget has been slashed by 14 per cent over the last three years, sparking fears that infectious outbreaks could become more commonplace.
The situation has been brought into stark focus by the Salmonella outbreak in Edinburgh late last year, the source of which has not yet been identified.
There are over 90,000 cases of food poisoning in Britain every year and the most vulnerable, such as the young and elderly, are most at risk.
But IPSL, the UK’s leading supplier of hygienic wall and ceiling panels, says schools, restaurants, care homes and other businesses have never had more weapons in the fight against infection.
Sterilising hand gels are now a common sight in public spaces and new antimicrobial surface technologies, including silver ion uPVC, can now be found in affordable and easily installed wall panels.
A spokesperson for www.ipsluk.co.uk said: “Is this a horror story waiting to happen? The risks are certainly great but the war on infection has never seemed so high tech.
“The added threat of litigation also serves to keep businesses on their toes.
“An outbreak can be financially disastrous, with court actions compounded by a loss of revenue and a smear on the business’ reputation.
“But less scrupulous, or simply inept, businesses still pose a threat.
“And with health inspectors now spread thinner than ever, is it only a matter of time before another outbreak like Edinburgh hits the front pages?”
Notes to the Editor:
Sources: HPS Weekly, 12th September 2012