Too many people are guilty of using health and safety as an excuse to hide behind, according to the head of one UK agency.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), made the comments in a letter to the newly appointed government adviser Lord Young, who will head up an inquiry on the issue, it was announced yesterday (June 14th).

Although admitting the terms of the Conservative peer’s review goes beyond the HSE’s remit, she suggested that the body had been saying for some time that the subject was being used as a "convenient excuse" hide behind for a number of companies, disguising such things as cost cutting.

The chair welcomed the decision to have an inquiry and said the body will provide insight for Lord Young, while the executive would continue to "champion a sensible and proportionate approach to dealing with risks in the workplace – not eliminating them from all aspects of life".

By Cameron Thomson