The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has set up an independent panel – the Myth Busters Challenge Panel – to scrutinise decisions where health and safety has been used as a convenient excuse to stop essentially sensible activities going ahead.

Health and safety and particularly the so-called ‘elf n safety’ culture have come under close scrutiny by the current Government, which has led to the publication of two reports, ‘Common Sense, Common Safety by Lord Young and, more recentl,y Professor Ragnar Lofstedt’s report.

The new panel is chaired by the HSE Chair Judith Hackitt, with HSE board member Robin Dahlberg as the Vice-Chair. They are supported by a pool of independent members who represent a wide range of interests including small businesses, public safety, trade union, the insurance industry and many outside interests where day-to-day common sense decisions on risk management are made.

The panel will look into complaints regarding the advice given by non-regulators such as insurance companies, health and safety consultants and employers and quickly assess if a sensible and proportionate decision has been made.

The HSE said:

“We want to make clear that ‘health and safety’ is about managing real risks properly, not being risk averse and stopping people getting on with their lives.”

If you think a decision or advice that you have been given in the name of health and safety is wrong, or disproportionate to what you are doing, you can complain to the panel. It will investigate and publish its findings on the HSE website