University of Portsmouth study into aversion to health and safety

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The University of Portsmouth has joined forces with Reading University in a study about health and safety.

The two-year study will investigate why health and safety laws are so unpopular despite saving thousands of lives.

University of Portsmouth historian and health and safety expert Dr Mike Esbester said: ‘This is a great opportunity to look back at what has changed and why, and to identify the turning points in public perceptions of health and safety in recent years.

‘One of the particular strengths of what we’re doing is that it combines historical perspectives and contemporary practice.

‘We want to see how the past influences the present, and how we might use that insight to make a difference in the future.’

Dr Esbester said hostility towards health and safety laws has increased dramatically since the 1960s.

Researchers will interview health and safety regulators, politicians and trade union officials as part of the study.