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Scope of review into health and safety revealed

23 January 2013

The scope of Professor Löfstedt's Review into health and safety legislation is set out today as the draft terms of reference are published...

The scope of Professor Löfstedt's Review into health and safety legislation has been set out as the draft terms of reference are published.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling announced in March that leading risk management specialist Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt would chair a review of all health and safety regulation, with a view to simplifying the rules and easing the unnecessary burdens on business.

The review is part of a package of changes to Britain's health and safety system to support the Government's growth agenda and cut red tape.

Chris Grayling said: “Professor Löfstedt's review will play a vital part in putting common sense back at the heart of Britain's health and safety system and I look forward to receiving his findings. By rooting out needless bureaucracy we can encourage businesses to prosper and boost our economy.”

The draft terms of reference have been agreed in principle by the Minister for Employment and will be finalised by Professor Löfsted's advisory panel shortly.

The review will consider the opportunities for reducing the burden of health and safety legislation on UK businesses while maintaining the progress made on health and safety outcomes.
It has been stated that the review will not focus on the Health and Safety at Work Act or the other 16 Acts owned and enforced by the HSE.

The review will gather evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including Government bodies, employers' organisations, employee organisations, professional health and safety bodies, and academics, in order to determine:

• The scope for consolidating, simplifying or abolishing regulations;
• Whether the requirements of EU Directives are being unnecessarily enhanced ('gold-plated') on translation into UK law;
• If lessons can be learned from comparison with health and safety regimes in other countries;
• Whether there is a clear link between regulation and positive health and safety outcomes;
• If there is evidence of inappropriate litigation and compensation arising from health and safety legislation; and
• Whether changes to legislation are needed to clarify the legal position of employers in cases where employees act in an irresponsible manner.

Professor Löfstedt will publish his findings in the autumn.