BMF claims victory against safety snoopers

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) today said it has protected its members are safe from safety snoopers.The BMF said has successfully persuaded the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) not to take action against its members, who refuse to give details of customers who have bought dense concrete blocks weighing over 20kg.The HSE took this action as part of its Better Backs campaign.The BMF said this would break customer confidentiality and data protection obligations.The federation said its members have received letters from the HSE demanding that they supply names of their customers. It said the HSE considered non compliance to be a criminal offence.BMF Secretary Peter Matthews said: “Whilst the BMF supports the HSE’s Better Backs Campaign, we did not agree with the way the HSE were acting. As a result of our conversations, HSE has acted responsibly over concerns from the merchant sector.”The federation said it raise concerns that HSE was acting in a heavy-handed way. It said the HSE has apologised for causing concern and advised their regional offices to withdraw any mention, or exercise, of criminal sanctions.In its campaign to reduce back injuries, the HSE will now work with the BMF and will be providing advice on the requirements for selling concrete blocks weighing over 20kg in a future BMF Product Selling Guide.

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