The bottom line of an editorial in the Daily Telegraph on 4 February asserted that the Healh and Safety Executive should be closed down.

This seemed to be based on the idea that we were over-regulated and it would be much better if we were allowed more freedom to do as we liked.

As far as the HSE is concerned I cannot agree that it should be abolished because it and its predecessors, together with the unions and some enlightened employers, must have had some impact in reducing the rates of death and injury in industry and other walks of life. In the 46 years that I have worked in the construction industry, deaths on site have been reduced from 300 a year to about 70. Nobody I know would deem this acceptable, but if those responsible for road transport had had the same success rate there would only be 500 or 600 deaths on the roads each year instead of the 3500 there have been for every one of those same 46 years.

William Matley