health and safety

'Social murder' kills thousands each year

Thousands of British citizens are dying needlessly each year because of the government’s failure to tackle food poisoning, health and safety breaches and pollution, a new report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies claims today. The report – Better Regulation: Better for whom? – by Professor Steve Tombs of The Open University, argues that lax regulation and weak enforcement has created avoidable business-generated, state-facilitated ‘social murder’.

'Better Regulation': Better for whom?

This Briefing by Professor Steve Tombs places the spotlight on the lack of effective regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards in the UK.

An estimated 29,000 deaths each year in the UK are attributable to the effects of airborne pollution. Some one million cases of foodborne illness in the UK each year result in 20,000 hospital admissions and 500 deaths. Around 50,000 people die each year as a result of injuries or health problems originating in the workplace.

Crisis of enforcement: The decriminalisation of death and injury at work

At least twice as many people die from fatal injuries at work than are victims of homicide, a report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies suggests. The report found that at least 1,300 people died as a result of fatal occupational injuries in 2005-06 in England and Wales, compared with 765 homicide victims. Non-fatal workplace injuries requiring hospitalisation were also likely to be greater that year than those needing such treatment following the violent offences formally recorded as crimes.

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