16/12/2011

Safety, Health and Environment e-Brief – Government reafirms its intention to almost halve current regulatory framework

The Government announced on 28 November 2011 that it will open a Consultation in relation to Health and Safety Regulation in the United Kingdom, re-affirming its intention to almost halve the current regulatory framework.

The Consultation comes hot on the heels of the publication of Professor Lofstedt’s report which was tasked at reviewing the Regulatory approach to Health and Safety. The report focussed on what it perceived to be unnecessary cost to business in line with the government’s desire to cut red tape for businesses.

Although the proposed streamlining of complex and far reaching regulation is likely to be welcomed by the business community in tough economic times, it should be noted that Professor Lofstedt stated in his Independent review launch speech:

“My overall conclusion is that there is no evidence for radically altering current health and safety legislation.” and went on to say that, “there is evidence that work-related ill health and injury is itself a considerable burden on business, as well as a cost to society more generally, and that the regulatory regime offers vital protection to employees and the public.”

The government has responded, and has set targets, the first of which it is hoped is achieved by summer 2012. That target includes simplifying health and safety regulation for small businesses and, by 2013 abolishing any unnecessary health and safety regulation as well as providing Approved Codes of Practice.

Chris Grayling MP, Minister for Employment stated in his opening note to the Governments response that “Professor Löfstedt’s report is an important step in the Government’s ongoing efforts to put common sense back into health and safety.”

Gordons’ Regulatory Team will explore the Governments response and associated targets and further information will be available in the Regulatory Newsletter due out in early 2012.