Neal Stone reports from H&S government briefing

21 Mar

The British Safety Council was one of a number of organisations invited to a meeting this morning at which the Minister for Work and Pensions, Chris Grayling, set out the detail of government proposals for further reform of health and safety.

The main thrust of the proposals include shifting the focus of inspection to high risk workplaces and cutting out proactive inspections for smaller lower risk businesses.  It is planned that HSE will in future, recover all of the cost of inspection or investigation where a serious breach is detected and enforcement action is taken. The government also announced that there will be a major review of health and safety legislation with the aim of scrapping measures that are considered unnecessary and a burden on business.

This will involve a root and branch overhaul of our regulatory framework much of which has been in place since 1974. In response to a question from the British Safety Council, the Minister assured the meeting that there would be detailed consultation on the reform proposals, including the future of regulation and the reform of health and safety law, with sufficient time for organisations as ours to fully consult it members on these important measures.   

For further detail of the proposals go to the DWP website – Good health and safety, Good for everyonehttp://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/good-health-and-safety.pdf

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4 Responses to “Neal Stone reports from H&S government briefing”

  1. Julie March 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Hi reference is made to the review being conducted by Professor Ragnar E Lofstedt of King’s College, London, supported by an independent advisory panel. Is there a mechanism whereby we can apply to be part of this independant panel?

    • Neal Stone March 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Professor Lofstedt’s review will be assisted by an independent advisory panel which will comprise “leading politicians with appropriate experience, business people and employee representaives to work with and provide constructive challenge to the review.” This is a susbtantial piece of work, arguably the most comprehensive review of our health and safety law since 1974, and one that will require considerable expertise drawing on the knowledge of many different professions. As to who sits on that panel that is a matter for the Minister.

      • John Roberts March 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

        Neal, Clearly “This is a susbtantial piece of work, ” the question which was asked was:- Is there a mechanism whereby we can apply to be part of this independant panel?

        if you don’t know say so, then may be the julie,and others can peruse other avenues this can not JUST be left to the minister.

        John R

  2. James Greenan March 25, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Regards to inspections what are ‘high risk’ locations?
    I find that even in ‘low risk’ office premises the service staff are subject to ‘high risks’ relating to a) the ‘residual risks’ that the designer has not undertaken to resolve, b) the fact the building owner/ occupier has selected to extend the service area into areas not designed to take plant and equipment, c) cheap solutions have been used to facilitate access to plant areas d) and accommodation for service staff is treated as a secondary requiremnt and they end up in areas with limited services or isolated in the event of a fire. I have noted that these types of issues apply equally to government premises, parliamentary offices, law firms and a number of companies who say they place EHS matters at the heart of their operations. 80% of the risk I encounter within premises are risks relating to the premises we operate within and not the services we wish to undertake. These issues are easy to remove if building owners/ occupiers are willing to ensure the premises were fit for purpose in all aspects. A few companies do the lead the way on considering services area are as important as the ‘public’ areas within the premises.

    Kind regards,
    James.

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