Summary and implications

Lord Young may no longer be an adviser to the Coalition – but his legacy lives on. A number of the recommendations from his report “Common Sense, Common Safety” have recently started to take effect:

  • The reporting of accidents: Lord Young recommended that the period before an injury under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) would need to be reported should be extended to seven days. The HSE is now consulting on amendment to RIDDOR to put this suggestion into practice. If implemented, this should lead to a reduction in the number of reports which need to be made by businesses, and lead to savings in both time and administrative costs.
  •  Low hazard workplaces: Lord Young specifically suggested that the HSE should simplify the risk assessment procedure for low hazard workplaces, such as offices and shops. As a result, the HSE has launched an online risk assessment, which aims to cut back the time it takes to weigh up the hazards in offices to just 20 minutes. The tool aims to avoid unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy for office-based businesses.  
  • Raising standards: Lord Young suggested that health and safety consultants should be required to become accredited by a professional body. Although a seemingly controversial recommendation at the time, a new Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) was quickly launched and went live in January 2011. The register has been developed by the HSE and a network of professional bodies representing safety consultants across Britain. Employers can now visit a single website that will help them to find local advisers with experience relevant to their sector.