Industry leaders slam health & safety overhaul

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Natalie Brandweiner
Contributing Editor
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The prime minister has faced backlash from health and safety professionals following yesterday’s pledge to change a number of the industry's regulations.

Speaking to small business owners at a PM Direct event at Intuit's headquarters in Maidenhead, David Cameron promised to kill the “health and safety monster” and tackle the “excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses”.

The prime minister introduced changes to a number of health and safety rules, including:

  • Plans to abolish up to half of all existing regulations by the end of the year.
  • Capping the amount that lawyers can earn from small value personal injury claims up to £25,000
  • Businesses will no longer have to report minor accidents in the workplace from 6 April
  • A new panel will give firms the right to challenge controversial inspection decisions; and
  • Changes to the health and safety law on strict liability for civil claims.

Steve Radley, director of policy at manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, was also adamant about the need not to confuse ‘compensation culture’ with overall ‘health and safety culture’, which was a “different issue altogether”.

The government's focus on reducing health and saftey follow the chancellor's announcement in his autumn statement that employment law and health and safety reforms would be tackled in the next phase of the Red Tape Challenge.

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12th Jan 2012 12:37

something sensible at long last

We can but hope.......probably too late...

most of these laws were not really about health and safety...largely a common sense issue...but overbearing government interference demanding that most of the day is taken up form filling....most of it being nanny state nonsense.

Great for lawyers and the whip lash claimants culture if you haven't filled in your forms.

No body cares that the check was carried out so long as the form was signed to say it has been .

We had to have door closers the doors could hit you in the back and knock hot tea out of your hands.


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12th Jan 2012 19:37

I completely agree with the Prime Minister and agree with what he / they are setting out to change. I speak as a small businessman in the construction industry with 40 years experience. Those who are apposing these changes, do so only because they fear they will have less room to manufacture gains for themselves. In particular the Lawers should be "struck off " from their policy of Fear Mungering and then making a fortune out of their apalling "service" to the comunity.

Without Lawyers and Insurance companys, this Country could become solvent overnight.

Tom Barfoot-Saunt - Brakefield LLP


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13th Jan 2012 10:53

I agree - remove this bureaucracy

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By keithas
13th Jan 2012 11:52

Yes, let's get rid of this nonsense, and while we're at it let's get rid of that senseless regulation which stops us sending perfectly capable children up chimneys. After all, those were the days when this country could run an empire.

"Nanny state": this phrase always perplexes me - my Nanny was an old woman who lived in a dark victorian house; she showed little interest in me and, to be honest, I found her a little bit scary. That does describe the state as I know it but doesn't seem to be what others are referring to.


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13th Jan 2012 13:37

I once saved a man from drowning.

what did you do ?

I took my foot off his head.

perhaps you are right.....outsourcing to India and the like is the future...we have tax credits and Tescos to spend them in, so will be ok.....and the credit card is only just on its limit so no need to worry yet.

I had to laugh when a man dressed up as a spartan (spartan run) could not pose for a photo because his imitation spear was classed as a live weapon....

It has got out of hand !

Bungee jumping over the Zambesi ? wonder if the fact that Crocs don't feed in January was on their risk assessment. Or whether the Jumper thought it was all without risk having been brought up believing that even the dangerous looking was safe so stuck her head in the oven just like all the others.


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23rd Jan 2012 09:34

are you saying I am Fat !

What is the connection with health and safety reform ?

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