HSE resources 'must be safeguarded' - health and safetyProtecting the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) finance must be guaranteed by the government in the midst of public sector austerity measures, according to one expert.

Richard Jones, policy and technical director at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, admits that although it is not part of the coalition’s remit, it should analyse how to safeguard resources and look at investigation rep and enforcement levels.

In June, HSE figures revealed that the number of people dying in UK workplaces last year dropped to a record low and, while welcoming the data, the expert is concerned at the rise in agricultural deaths.

Mr Jones said: "Every single death is a tragedy for the family and friends of those involved."

However, he called for the government to do more to support the work of the HSE in raising awareness of accident prevention as well as tackling the root causes of public confusion around health and safety.

By Hayley Edwards