A CRACKDOWN has been launched on dangerous workplaces in the North West amid fears that standards could slip during the recession.

The Health and Safety Executive revealed that there were 23 workplace deaths, 3,357 major injuries and 13,742 injuries requiring at least three days off work in 2007/8.

The HSE’s new five year strategy sets out how employees and employers should work together to minimise risks while maintaining business competitiveness. The HSE regional director for the North West, David Sow-erby said: For businesses in the North West to consider cutting spending on health and safety this year is not only potentially dangerous, but could also be bad for business.

“Nearly eight out of ten business leaders ackno-wledged that good health and safety standards are beneficial, with the cost of preventing an incident almost always less than the overall costs of such an incident.”