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GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW OF HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW

David Cameron announces review of how health and safety law operates

The Prime Minister has today (14 June) announced the appointment of the Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham as Adviser to the Prime Minister on health and safety law and practice.

Lord Young will undertake a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture.

He is expected to report to the Prime Minister in the summer and will investigate concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade.

Lord Young will work with the appropriate government departments to bring his proposals into effect. He will continue to report regularly to the Prime Minister on progress.

Sensible approach needed without “red tape” 

Commenting on the review the PM said:

“I’m very pleased that Lord Young has agreed to lead this important review. The rise of the compensation culture over the last ten years is a real concern, as is the way health and safety rules are sometimes applied.

“We need a sensible new approach that makes clear these laws are intended to protect people, not overwhelm businesses with red tape. I look forward to receiving Lord Young’s recommendations on how we can best achieve that.”

Commenting on his new role, Lord Young said:

“Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services.

“I hope my review will reintroduce an element of common sense and focus the regulation where it is most needed. We need a system that is proportionate and not bureaucratic.”

The HSE Chair Judith Hacket has commented on the review stating that: 

“The terms of reference of your review extend beyond HSE’s remit, which is concerned with addressing real risks and preventing death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work related activities.

However, we in HSE have been saying for some time that health and safety is being used by too many as a convenient excuse to hide behind. We welcome your review and stand ready to make available to you whatever information or insight we can.”

Comment

This announcement builds on Conservative party plans unveiled prior to the election.

The Lord Young review appears to run alongside the wider review of regulation being undertaken by Vince Cable at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Independent contains an interesting piece on the review.

 

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