Health and safety 'is important'Health and safety in the workplace is an important element in both the UK’s economy and businesses, it has been claimed.

Speaking on behalf of 1,650 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors, scientists and other specialists, Prospect negotiator Mike Macdonald said changes which could boost workers’ safety as well as encouraging business competition should be supported.

However, he added there needed to be a greater emphasis on common sense and professional judgement.

"There is a world of difference between petty bureaucracy enacted under the label of health and safety and HSE regulation designed to prevent deaths in the workplace," Mr Macdonald claimed.

He also claimed that measures which were designed to help prevent workplace injury and fatalities could be at risk of being overshadowed by "inappropriate obsessions by local authorities" which had minor issues they used as "an excuse" to withdraw services as part of cost-cutting measures.

The HSE recently announced its launch of the Pledge Forum – as part of the Be Part Of The Solution campaign – which includes case studies and toolkits to help improve health and safety standards.