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Govt reports on health and safety legislation progress

Govt reports on health and safety legislation progress

Progress is being made in the reforming the UK's health and safety at work legislation, the government has revealed.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance published two reports yesterday (February 4th) in order to provide an update on how this process is coming along, the first of which focuses on the implementation of the recommendations put forward in professor Ragnar Lofstedt's 2011 study Reclaiming Health and Safety for All.

Within this paper, professor Lofstedt indicated that numerous changes should be made to health and safety legislation in order to streamline the process for companies while also improving protection for individuals.

The expert has welcomed the fact that many of these proposals are in the process of being implemented and praised the government for taking a "more risk and evidence-based approach to health and safety".

Meanwhile, the other report has showed that the administration has now introduced 23 of the 35 recommendations put forward in Lord Young's 2010 paper Commons Sense, Common Safety, which was centred on improving the frequently negative perceptions of health and safety legislation.

It is thought that some 50 per cent of all health and safety policies will have either been reviewed, abolished or simplified by 2014, while around ten per cent of current legislation will have been scrapped by April this year.

Meanwhile, a greater focus on inspections at workplaces deemed to be high risk has resulted in the number of proactive inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) dropping by more than 11,000 annually in the last few years.

In addition, the government is determined to streamline the risk assessment procedures currently faced by the HSE.

Mark Hoban, minister for employment, observed: "Health and safety is important, but its focus should be where risks are high. These reports show just how much progress we have made in restoring clarity to the system."

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Posted by Chris Stevenson