This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
LABOUR has condemned the “outrageous decision” not to re-classify Covid-19 as a “serious workplace risk” following a review by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) bosses.
After management reconsidered the classification in April, the government agency announced on Wednesday that it would not change, despite reports that labelling coronavirus as a “significant risk” — less severe than “serious” — meant HSE inspectors did not have the power to halt dangerous working.
It comes after the Office for National Statistics identified 15,263 deaths of working-age people with coronavirus between April 2020 and last month.
Official statistics also show there were 3,872 workplace outbreaks in the same period, yet not a single employer has faced legal repercussions for breaching pandemic regulations.
Shadow secretary of state for employment rights and protections Andy McDonald said: “[This] decision shows that the government is putting working people and the wider public at risk.
“With rising case numbers of the Delta variant [first detected in India], this decision is deeply irresponsible and shows that the government is failing to keep working people safe.”
A spokesperson for HSE — which, according to think tank IPPR, has suffered a real-terms funding cut of 53 per cent since 2009 — said it was “wholly inaccurate” to say it does not take Covid-19 seriously.
“Time and again we have explained the word ‘significant’ has a very specific meaning in [our] enforcement management model which is a highly technical document.
“The classification does not, and has never had, any impact on the range of enforcement actions HSE inspectors can take, and we remain determined to help employers keep their workplaces Covid-secure.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.