Local authorities predominantly cover the retail, consumer services, entertainment and warehousing/supply chain sectors which account for two thirds of all business premises, around half of the total GB workforce. The HSE's figures show that failures in the management of occupational health and safety in local authority enforced business sectors result in more than 100,000 new cases of ill health, 5,000 major injuries and the deaths of around 10 workers each year.
The HSE's campaign comes at a challenging time for local authorities where budgets are being cut and resources are stretched. It is understood that the number of full time equivalent inspectors employed by local authorities halved from 1,020 in 2010/11 to 500 in 2017/18. In 2010/11, local authorities carried out 103,000 proactive inspections, falling to 8,400 in 2017/18.
By signing up to the statement, local authorities recognise that they must target and prioritise regulatory resources to meet their legal duty to enforce health and safety.