Home >The BSIF comments on the Lofstedt Review

The BSIF comments on the Lofstedt Review

23 January 2013

In March 2011, as part of the Government's plans to reform Britain's health and safety system, the Department for Work and Pensions' Minister for Employment, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, commissioned an independent review of health and safety legislation chaired by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt.
The results of this review, 'Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation', was published yesterday1. Within this review Professor Lofstedt makes a number of recommendations to simplify and improve the way legislation is enforced.

David Lummis, Chief Executive Officer at the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), commenting on Professor Lofstedt's recommendations: “The recommendations made by Professor Lofstedt seem a sensible way forward for the health and safety industry. The sector specific consolidations of health and safety regulations, combined with the removal of health and safety burdens from the self employed in low risk occupations, will improve upon aspects that may be overzealous or superfluous in Britain's current health and safety regime. As long as these changes are communicated with all parties clearly and in a timely manner - this reduction in red tape should benefit millions.

“The current suite of health and safety legislation has been developed over many years to meet the ever changing needs of society. We are pleased that Professor Lofstedt recognises that the underlying strength of these legislations needs to be maintained in order to protect worker's health. Britain has long had an exemplary health and safety record and any possible weakening of the legislation or the omission of key sections would have had devastating consequences and potentially diminished the importance of safety. Instead we are delighted to see that Professor Lofstedt fully recognises Britain's vital role in health and safety and highlights its responsibility in the development of European health and safety legislation. By the Government, trade bodies and other industry professionals continuing in their efforts to work closely with other EU member states, the needs of the employers and employees will be better met across Europe.”

Commenting on the implementation of these recommendations, David remarks: “A timetable has been drawn for the next few years to ensure that these recommendations are implemented. Due to the nature of the tasks, a large amount of work has been designated to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Whilst, we know the HSE carries out a sterling job, its resources, following a large budget cut, will be stretched to full capacity. We hope these restrictions do not impact on the implementation of these recommendations made today by Professor Lofstedt.”

David concludes: “Today is a positive step forward for the health and safety industry. Over the next few years we hope that all trade bodies and professionals working in the industry will continue to collaborate to ensure that our workforce continues to remain safe.”