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IOSH warns the government against weakening health and safety rights.

The Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) has asked the UK government not to “water down” health and safety rights. 
In a letter to the government, the IOSH details a series of recommendations that it believes could “unlock Britain’s potential”. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has declared that a healthy and safe working environment is a fundamental principle and a right. The IOSH urges the government to promote and respect this right. The letter is jointly signed by Vanessa Haywood-Whitcher, the IOSH Chief Executive, and Ruth Wilkinson, Head of Health and Safety. 
The IOSH is concerned that the UK has ratified less than 20% of the ILO’s occupational health and safety conventions. The conventions awaiting ratification include those that cover asbestos, chemicals, and occupational cancer which affect thousands of workers. Though there are many well-established health and safety rights that deal with wearing
PPE (personal protective equipment), safety training, and other issues, the IOSH warns that all governments and organisations should guard against a movement to dilute health and safety rights. 
Since the IOSH letter was written, the government has announced that it plans to widen exemptions for businesses from some health and safety regulations and reporting requirements.
The IOSH has long campaigned for more worker-centered trade systems and policies and is optimistic that positive progress will be achieved toward this goal during the next few years. They hope that the recommendations contained within their letter will be supported by the UK government.


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