The Chair and Chief Executive of the British Safety Council this morning attended a stakeholder meeting at which the Work and Pensions Minister, Chris Grayling, who has responsibility for health and safety, set out the next stage of the government’s proposals for health and safety reform.

At the meeting, attended by representatives from business, trade unions, health and safety organisations and HSE, the government outlined a series of further reforms which the Minister said herald, “a new start for health and safety regulation for Britain’s businesses.”  The detail of the reform proposals will be put out to public consultation.

The main proposals announced by the government are to:

  • modernise the health and safety inspection regime with inspectors concentrating on high risk locations and irresponsible employers
  • take steps to eliminate ‘cowboy’ health and safety consultants through the operation of the occupational health and safety consultants register which has already received over 1,500 registrations
  • make health and safety advice and guidance for small and low risk businesses simple, accessible and bureaucracy-free
  • review existing health and safety law with a view to scrapping measures that are an unnecessary burden on business. This review will be chaired by Professor Ragnar E Lofstedt of King’s College, London, supported by an independent advisory panel and will publish its findings in Autumn this year

Commenting on the proposals Lynda Armstrong, Chair of the Trustees of the British Safety Council, said,

“I welcome the continuing momentum initiated by Lord Young to put common sense back into health and safety.  We have always encouraged a professional, proportionate and knowledgeable approach to managing safety in the workplace.  These recommendations support our aims and we look forward to consulting our members on the proposals.  Their views will help inform our submission to government.”