Update: House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into health and safety in Scotland

7 Jun

The British Safety Council has formally submitted its evidence to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into health and safety in Scotland.  Our evidence was shaped by the findings from a survey of members and their views on the questions posed by the inquiry.  We have a strong and knowledgeable membership in Scotland operating across all sectors including construction, manufacturing and offshore oil and gas and their knowledge, experience and commitment has fed directly into our evidence.

The key points we made, taking account of our members views, were:

* we consider that health and safety in Scotland is effectively regulated;

* we recognise that Great Britain’s health and safety record, and within it Scotland, compares well with other leading EU members states;

* there is an overwhelming view among our membership that health and safety regulation has a positive impact on business;

* the British Safety Council acknowledges that its members are evenly divided on the issue of the devolution of health and safety to the Scottish government. There were strongly held views both for and against.  We are, for the moment, neutral on the issue of devolving health and safety;

* we do not support the creation of a separate HSE responsible for health and safety regulation in Scotland;

* we recognise the concern of our members in Scotland over the impact of the deficit reduction on HSE’s operations generally and inspector numbers specifically. The likely reduction in the frequency of inspection visits caused considerable unease as well as the likelihood, for example, that sectors such as agriculture and construction will fade from the enforcement spotlight.

The full text of our evidence will be available on our website shortly.

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