Health and safety legislation review

Health and safety legislation

Former Trade and Industry Secretary, Lord Young has been appointed by the government to lead a review into health and safety legislation.

Misapplication of legislation

'The rise of the compensation culture over the last ten years is a real concern, as is the way health and safety rules are sometimes applied,' said Prime Minister David Cameron.

He believes a sensible new approach is needed that makes it obvious that the legislation is intended to protect people, not overwhelm businesses with red tape.

Good health and safety management is part of effective management. All workplaces need to put measures in place to protect their staff and customers, as we know that trained first aiders are the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

Sue Killen
CEO of St John Ambulance

Common sense needed

Lord Young said: 'Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services.'

He hoped that his review will reintroduce an element of common sense and focus the regulation where it is most needed: 'We need a system that is proportionate and not bureaucratic,' he said.

St John Ambulance welcomes review

Sue Killen, CEO of St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid and health and safety provider, had this to say on the matter:

‘The right approach to health and safety saves lives – in 2008/9 we saw a 22% decrease in the number of people who die at work compared to the previous five years' average figures.'

She believes it is misinterpretation of health and safety guidance that causes problems and welcomes a review to ensure sensible and proper execution.

'We’d be concerned if workplaces like offices had their guidance reduced. Our research has shown that 45% of office incidents requiring a first aider were serious enough to involve resuscitation compared to 21% of incidents on a building site, which is traditionally seen as more high risk.

'Good health and safety management is part of effective management. All workplaces need to put measures in place to protect their staff and customers, as we know that trained first aiders are the difference between a life lost and a life saved.'

If you’re confused about workplace health and safety then speak to an adviser in your area on 08700 10 49 50. Our free Workplace training guide will also point you in the right direction.