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MP proposes bill to prevent employers exploiting health and safety loopholes

A Labour MP has used the Ten Minute Rule to introduce a bill to prevent employers “exploiting legal loopholes to avoid punishment for ignoring health and safety laws.”

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said: "As an MP I often take my safety at work for granted. I'm lucky enough to have a workplace where the risks I'm exposed to are limited. But thousands of people around the country aren't. They do their jobs in potentially dangerous circumstances every day.

"There's a whole range of industries like construction, which place workers in dangerous situations: those who work with heavy machinery, large vehicles or electrics, for example. In these environments there can be very serious consequences if accidents happen.

"So it's vital that we have strong Health and Safety laws to protect workers and to punish negligent employers who ignore these protections.

"That's what my Ten Minute Rule Bill is all about: keeping people safe and ensuring that companies which don't are brought to justice.

"In the construction industry there are companies exploiting legal loopholes to avoid punishment for ignoring Health and Safety laws.

"It's wrong that employers who have clearly broken the law can walk away without being properly punished. My bill would give the HSE the power to freeze part or all of a company's assets when they are being investigated following a suspected breach of regulations resulting in a death or serious injury. This would prevent companies from going into administration while under investigation.

"I hope the Government will take notice of my bill and adopt this modest but vital measure, so that no company can avoid justice."

Any MP may introduce a bill under the Ten Minute Rule, although in practice it is only used by backbenchers.

To qualify to introduce a bill under the Rule, the MP in question must be the first through the door to the Public Bill Office on the Tuesday or Wednesday morning fifteen working days (three weeks) prior to the date they wish to introduce their bill.