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There has been much discussion recently about the necessity for and content of health and safety legislation. The Government asked Lord Young to prepare a review of the current laws with a view to cutting down on the level of bureaucracy and compensation culture that they encourage. The review, entitled ‘Common Sense – Common Safety’, was published last year.

Many people are in favour of changing the law to reduce the burdens imposed by overly rigorous health and safety requirements. For example, the fire service has stated that it is often compromised in its ability to improvise and save lives without fear of prosecution for health and safety breaches. This fear has been increased by the introduction of the Corporate Homicide Act, enabling officers to be criminally prosecuted for breaches of health and safety law resulting in death.

The focus of Lord Young’s review is that the balance should be redressed between the need for protection and the need for common sense and trust so that businesses and service providers can operate without fear of being sued for every minor accident or incident that happens.

The Government is now producing further guidance and consultations on the specific areas for reform. In march it intends to ‘launch a consultation on consolidating the current raft of Health and Safety legislation into a single set of accessible regulations’ and to ‘publish revised guidance for police and fire officers undertaking heroic acts.’ For further information on developments in specific areas as they are published, please contact an employment solicitor and watch us for further articles.

Businesses wishing to review their health and safety policies and procedures or receiving notice of legal action intending to be brought against them should seek the advice of an employment solicitor.


Written by Andrew Hodges

March 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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