24 February 2005
The suggestion that “thousands have suffered from the clipboard brigade” (City Diary, 24 February) belittles the vital work that HSE inspectors do in protecting the health and safety of Britain’s workers. As a response to a serious assault, it is offensive.
HSE inspectors must be able to carry out their work – preventing accidents – free from the fear of assault. The judge in this case agreed, saying he felt he had to protect a public servant like Martin Smith in the same way he would a police officer. Eric Dawson was jailed for four months, a sentence which reflects the gravity of the offence.
How would the Daily Telegraph react if someone attacked one of its journalists? I suspect it would adopt a rather different tone.
Director General, Health and Safety Executive