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Cuts "could risk workers' safety"

Deep cuts to the public sector could put workers at risk of injury or illness, safety experts have warned.

Cost-cutting measures, such as reducing workforce levels, are likely to lead to staff working longer hours and changing roles, which could lead to increased risks, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

A lack of training, the use of out-of-date equipment and the combining of departments could all contribute to making workplaces more dangerous, the government was warned.

Ministers have been urged to keep the wellbeing of police, social workers, civil servants and other public sector employees at the forefront of their minds as departments look to make savings.

The Institute's Chief Executive, Rob Strange, said: "The dangers posed by cost-cutting to people involved in delivering or using public services are hidden behind all the talk of how fast and by how much our country's budget deficit is reduced.

"We want the government to think about the implications of impending cutbacks on the safety, health and wellbeing, not only of the people it employs, but of the people who use its services."

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