22 June 2007
Not for the first time, in his article of 22 June, Simon Jenkins completely misrepresents the Health and Safety Executive's standpoint on risk both as regards to theory and practice. HSE's role is not to seek eliminate all risk but rather to help ensure that risks are identified and managed in a sensible and proportionate manner. Far from being 'an unregulated, unaccountable realm of the State' we are accountable to Ministers through the Health and Safety Commission and are subject of full Parliamentary scrutiny. Finally, to claim our inspectors are 'zombies' is simply abusive nonsense. I frequently accompany our inspectors in their work and am invariably struck by their expertise, their good sense and their moderation. Their dedication is to reducing the 212 deaths and 146,000 injuries in the workplace (2005/06) not to the figments of Mr Jenkins' imagination.