Health and safety review
Lord Young, the Prime Minister's adviser
on health and safety law and practice, issued his long awaited
report Common Sense Common Safety last
Friday (15 October). St John Ambulance has commented on its
The report follows a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of
health and safety laws and the growth of compensation culture. It
aims to not only improve the perception of health and
safety but to also ensure that it is taken seriously by
employers and the general public.
Included in Lord Young's recommendations is the:
Ensuring that trained and qualified professionals are the only people to determine the risks should help redress the balance, as should simple procedures for lower risk activities.
CEO, St John Ambulance
- Introduction of a Good Samaritan Clause, to make it clear that
people will not be held liable for any consequences due to
well-intentioned voluntary actions on their
- Professionalization of health and safety consultants, with a
qualification requirement that all consultants
should be accredited to professional bodies
- Simplifying of risk assessments for low hazard
workplaces to make it easier for organisations to understand
regulations and implement them.
As the nation's leading first aid and health and safety
organisation, St John Ambulance knows that the right approach to
health and safety saves lives as Sue Killen, CEO, explains: 'We've
all read the 'health and safety gone mad' stories where guidance is
misinterpreted or taken to the extreme, perhaps because people are
worried about potential legal action.
'Ensuring that trained and qualified professionals are the
only people to determine the risks should help redress the
balance, as should simple procedures for lower risk
activities. Over 150 people died at work in 09/10 compared to
178 the previous year, which shows the effectiveness of
good health and safety practices and that this
is a matter that needs to be taken seriously.
'Our own data shows that a quarter (24%) of people would
do nothing when faced with an emergency situation. We can
improve that situation by encouraging more people to learn first
aid skills and empowering them to care for those around them, so
that they can be the difference between life and
death. We strongly believe that clarity about
the status of Good Samaritans will remove some of the final
barriers discouraging people to administer first aid, who perhaps
fear legal action. Any person acting reasonably, within their
competency, and in good faith should be able to come to the aid of
a person without fear of prosecution.
'We look forward to seeing what comes out of this review and how
it will help reduce unnecessary deaths.'