40 Years of the Health and Safety Act
Anyone involved within the world of employment will no doubt have been at least notified of the importance of health and safety within the workplace. As things go it's about as paramount as they come; keeping people safe and ensuring they have the comfort and security of the world around them is absolutely vital, after all. However, getting there takes far more pressure and understanding than many would have realised; the fight for the health & safety rights and regulations which we have today are absolutely vital to maintaining professional, secure and modern workplaces.
Whilst those of certain opinions may look upon health and safety as something that merely gets in the way or has been totally overblown, the Health and Safety Act is one of the most important changes to British legislation in many, many years. Worker safety is paramount to the performance of firms and the country in general, and therefore it's vital that staff are kept safe and well looked after within their jobs. The Health and Safety Act 1974 played a key role in changing all of this, even if more regulation has been required over the following years.
For many people, this is a fair price to pay for the current working standards that we hold today. What used to be a rather blasé attitude towards safety - concentrating more on the work getting finished regardless of conditions - has been completely altered by the virtues and protests of the many. Lapses in security and safety eventually became a big problem for businesses, and run-down factories and old industrial estates were forced to renovate or close down until they did. Forty years of this Act has produced a far more comprehensive, safe society to live in and impacts in all aspects of our working lives.
From the homes that we live in to the people that we spend time with, health and safety keeps ourselves and the structures we build in fine working condition. Towards the end of the 1960s, it was estimated that workplace injuries had risen by more than 63,000; From 450,000 to 513,000. These numbers served as a wake-up call to a negligent state. The reforms and changes made since have since laid the foundations for the world that we live in today. Some might see it as "health and Safety gone mad" but is that better than ever-increasing deaths and ever-dwindling safety?
Forty years of the Health and Safety Act has reformed the UK and made it a far more palatable place to not only work, but to live. Rights, safety, performance and overall working conditions have improved an incredible amount ever since the 1974 Act was passed. Long may it continue!