Outrage greeted the government's announcement that it's to review the future of the Health and Safety Executive.
Hundreds of workers die from work-related incidents and illness each year in Britain alone yet the government continues to slash safety legislation, claiming it is a "burden" on business.
It has already announced that the HSE budget will be cut by 35 per cent by 2015 and unannounced safety inspections have stopped in most industries.
And on Thursday Employment Minister Mark Hoban sneaked in plans for a root-and-branch review of the HSE to assess whether it remains "necessary."
The Department of Work and Pensions announced: "The first stage of the review will identify and examine the key functions of HSE. The review will assess how the functions contribute to the core business of HSE and DWP, and whether these functions are still needed.
"If the conclusion is that the functions are still required, the review will then examine whether HSE as currently constituted remains the best way to perform those functions, or if another delivery method might be more appropriate."
Solidarity General Secretary Patrick Harrington commented:
"Health and Safety should not be seen as a 'burden' on business but a pre-requisite for business. Businesses have social responsibilities and are rightly expected to have standards in place which safeguard workers. That this ConDem government questions this indicates how far removed they are from what our people actually want. Many suspect it is jut the the beginning of a government attempt to outsource key functions of the Health and Safety Executive or scale down its capability."