Britain's work safety watchdog used to have more than 100 people to handle occupational injuries - now there's barely 20.
Public-sector union Prospect revealed the shocking new figures on the Con-Dems' workplace safety shred-fest yesterday, which builders' union Ucatt called "deeply disturbing."
More than two million people across Britain suffer from a work-related illness and around 12,000 people a year die as a result, according to the Health and Safety Executive's own estimates.
Mesothelioma, a lung cancer linked to asbestos, kills 2,000 a year and radiation exposure claims another 280.
Yet the union's research found that the HSE now has just three occupational physicians and 18 occupational health inspectors across the whole of England and Wales.
Two decades ago they had 60 of each.
And fewer than half a dozen specialist inspectors are now left to monitor around 120,000 workplaces that use ionising radiation.
The Con-Dems have cut 25 per cent of the HSE's budget since 2010, with the number of staff dropping from 3,702 to 2,889.
Prospect's research chief Sue Ferns said the cuts were even more worrying as employers may now escape an obligation to report the nature of sick leave.
"That would remove the bulk of the intelligence guiding the work of hygiene and occupational health inspectors, and deprive lay health and safety representatives of information essential for them to monitor workplace health."
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said: "It's simply appalling that the government's penny-pinching means that workers will be exposed to life-threatening substances while they are trying to earn a living."
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