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Workers welcome health and safety regulations

Two thirds of the workforce do not see health and safety as bureaucracy they welcome it as a life-saving necessity. However, less than a third of employees would blow the whistle on their employer if they broke health and safety laws.

Only 28% of people would report their employer to the Health and Safety Executive for a breach of health and safety, but half would warn a colleague if there was a risk they could get hurt.

Findings from YouGov and the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) showed that 65% of employees thought health and safety saved lives or prevented people from injury at work, while 28% felt it was about ‘silly European laws' or red tape.

Only 8% said that health and safety at work was not important to them but more than a quarter (25%) claimed that the regulations hindered them from doing their job.

Ray Hurst, president of IOSH, said: "Health and safety is sometimes used as an easy excuse by bureaucrats who don't want to do certain things or those who are afraid of litigation. This leads to over-the-top public safety decisions. But countless health and safety decisions are taken, unnoticed, in British workplaces everyday. It's a lack of proper health and safety that causes problems and workers recognise this."

He added: "Blowing the whistle on employers isn't something you do lightly. But if your employer won't act and you're genuinely concerned for your own or others' safety, it's certainly not something you should be afraid of doing."