Home >Chancellor signals significant reforms to health & safety regulation
Chancellor signals significant reforms to health & safety regulation
23 January 2013
Chancellor announced plans to either scrap or improve 84% of health & safety regulation. The announcement goes further than the Government's response to the LÃ¶fstedt review last year in which it promised to reduce health & safety regulation by half.
The proposed changes will take into account recommendations made in last year's Red Tape Challenge which appealed for suggestions as to how health & safety regulation could be improved.
Analysing whether the changes will be good for business and practitioners, Chris Green, Partner in the Regulatory team at national law firm Weightmans LLP comments:
â€œAs ever the success of the announced plans will depend on the (as yet missing) detail. It is presently unknown what regulations will be affected. At first glance, following on from the Government's response to the Lofstedt Report, it is likely that many of the regulations the government proposes to remove completely are, in reality, archaic and rarely used - the key laws and newer regulations directly affecting employers look set to remain intact for the most part.
â€œThe overall intention of the government is to reduce the burden on business and employers, both in a civil and criminal context. The aim is to tackle the public perception of overzealous safety regulation or disproportionate enforcement of unduly onerous restrictions. But it is unlikely that these proposals will have any fundamental impact beyond some legislative housekeeping or the adjudication of civil claims- good on paper, but I doubt in practice we will notice any difference in the long term as regards the operation of health & safety within businesses.
â€œWhat's important to remember is that this is not a relaxation of health and safety, and nor should it be. Where employee safety is concerned, it should certainly be business as usual.â€