Following the recent reviews of health and safety carried out by Lord Young and Professor Loftstëdt, the need to simplify health and safety regulation was highlighted as an issue for the Government. The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has commissioned experts from The University of Nottingham to consider whether reducing health and safety regulation will help businesses, without putting employees at risk. The research draws on expertise from the fields of occupational health and safety and business across sectors including industry, government and trade unions. The research also draws on international contacts in order to make comparisons with the UK.
In the recent Budget, the Treasury stated the hope that deregulation in the field of health and safety will benefit the UK economy, with a suggestion that 84% of health and safety regulation was intended to be scrapped or improved. However, IOSH have requested clarity in the Government’s plans for deregulation so that the public are aware of the full effect of the changes. Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said, “The Government needs to say what proportion is improvement and what proportion is removal of redundant regulations. There simply isn’t scope or need for radical change.”
To date, the HSE have earmarked seven pieces of legislation to be revoked on the basis that they have become redundant. However, if the move is agreed, it is unlikely to make a significant impact as the legislation cited (which included The Anthrax Prevention Order 1971 (Revocation) Regulations 2005, Pottery (Health and Welfare) Safety Regulations 1950 and the Employment Medical Advisory Services (Factories Act Orders etc Amendment) Act 1973) is not well known.