Common-sense protections keep us and our loved ones safe

We shouldn’t need to worry about whether the air we breathe is clean, whether our homes and workplaces are safe, and whether we are at risk from fire. That’s why there are common-sense rules in place to make sure rogue operators don’t cut corners.

But over the last nine years, funding for UK health and safety bodies has fallen sharply. This has made it more difficult for them to enforce the rules that keep us safe, and makes it more likely that those who flout the rules will get away with it. When developers fail to make buildings fire-safe, car companies lie about pollution, or landlords exploit the vulnerable, ordinary people can get hurt.

Join our campaign and help us make sure that the public bodies who keep us safe have the tools they need for the job.

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Public protectors are struggling to enforce the rules that keep us safe

The task of ensuring that businesses and other establishments are meeting the law on health and safety is shared between the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities. There are other important ways that these bodies keep us safe from harm, such as checking up on industrial operators which may be causing pollution. Fire authorities oversee the delivery of fire and rescue services.

The Health and Safety Executive’s funding fell by over a half between 2010 and 2019. Local Authorities, meanwhile, now spend a third less on health and safety than they did in 2009, and local front-line inspectors have fallen by half.

Enforcement activity has suffered as a result.

  • The average business can now expect to be visited by Local Authority health and safety inspectors once every 20 years.

  • Less than 0.1% of workplace fatalities and injuries result in a prosecution.

  • Serious pollution incidents in the UK from the farming, water and waste sectors are now a regular occurrence.

See more of our research

Your stories

EILEEN’S STORY

"I was 22 when I escaped the fire that engulfed the entertainment complex Summerland. My partner, who I had been engaged to for two years, didn’t survive."

PERSEPHONE’S STORY

Persephone was a healthy child until the age of two when she first began to be affected by viral induced wheezes. 

GRAHAM’S STORY

"My friend Graham died after being struck by a faulty tail lift on his truck while unloading bread baskets at an Allied Bakery plant in Glasgow in July 2005. He was 40 years old."

DAVID’S STORY

"My young son and I often travelled along the Brixton Road to Stockwell Skatepark. I trusted that the authorities were monitoring the air and would let us know if we were in danger."

KIMBERLEY’S STORY

"My son Theo, who is six, was recently diagnosed with asthma. He coughs a lot less when he is out of the city and at night, because we have put an air purifier in his bedroom."

NATALIE’S STORY

"In April 2002 my dad John Woods went to work and never came home. I was 18, and my world came crashing down."

Help us stand up for the public bodies that keep us safe

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