House of Lords H&S debate – update from Neal Stone

5 Apr

The House of Lords held a short debate on 4 April concerning government’s latest round of health and safety reforms set out in Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone. Although there was a good attendance by peers the limited time available – just one hour – stifled in depth discussion of the weighty issues that go to the heart of the reforms.  Lord Freud, Government Minister responsible for health and safety, in response to a question from Lord German, announced that the terms of reference for Professor Löfstedt’s review of health and safety regulation will be published by DWP before the end of May.  Government’s intention remained that the review would make recommendations this Autumn.

Lord McKenzie of Luton, Labour spokesperson on health and safety in the Lords, questioned the minister to what extent the statistical evidence base had been properly considered by government, both for injuries and ill health, in producing the categories of low risk areas where proactive inspection will no longer take place.  From this exchange it is clear that there is much still to be discussed concerning the appropriateness of sticking transport, electricity generation and manufacturing in the low risk category.

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