30 April 2009
Expert calls for new workplace injury compensation scheme
The UK should have a new workplace ill-health and injury compensation scheme which involves a greater contribution from businesses, it has been suggested.
In a new study, Professor Rory O'Neill from Stirling University, claimed that currently, firms pay only around 25 per cent of the costs of such problems.
This is despite the fact that true annual cost of occupational disease and injury, according to his analysis, could be in excess of £30 billion.
He therefore proposed a revamp of the compensation system which would be employer-financed.
Prof O'Neill commented: "The business lobby bleats continually about the 'burden' of health and safety regulation, but the burden of lax workplace safety standards is carried almost entirely by sick and injured workers, bereaved families and the public purse."
In 2007-08, 2.1 million people were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work, figures produced by the Health and Safety Executive suggest.