Health & Safety Red Tape To Be Cut

The Government has announced that health and safety red tape will be cut for small, low risk businesses such as offices and shops.  It is anticipated that some 3,000 regulations will be reviewed and either over-hauled or removed. This move is part of the Government’s policy of tackling what is perceived to be overly burdensome health and safety requirements, especially for employers where the level of risk that their work operations present is fairly minimal.

The proposal will remove routine health and safety inspections for low risk work environments with shops, offices and pubs being specifically cited. Most of these workplaces are subject to routine periodic inspections from Local Authority Environmental Health Officers who have for some time been responsible for enforcing health and safety law for low risk businesses, with the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) focusing on enforcement in high risk industries like construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

It is also anticipated that legislation will be introduced to take effect from April 2013 aimed specifically at targeting the growing compensation culture. For businesses this should mean that they can more easily defend themselves against personal injury claims from employees when they have not acted improperly or negligently.  Further details are expected to be made public next month.