IOSH warning over Government rush to implement Löfstedt

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In its official response to the LÖfstedt Review of health and safety in the UK the leading health and safety body, IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) is warning that the Government is trying to do “too much, too soon”.

The Institution broadly welcomed the findings of Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, who looked at 200 pieces of health and safety law last year, but is concerned about how the Government plans to take forward his recommendations.

IOSH says it supports the idea of the Health and Safety Executive reviewing its Approved Codes of Practice, but with a first stage deadline of June 2012, fears that the Government is trying to do too much, too soon.

Says IOSH:

“The HSE’s budget has been slashed by 35%, and adding this piece of work could mean important functions – from investigating serious accidents to advising and helping businesses – could suffer as a result.”

It says that exempting self-employed people from health and safety law whose jobs don’t pose a risk to others is unnecessary and unhelpful – “a backward step that sends out the wrong message.”

It also adds that the Government’s claim that this would exempt one million people from so-called red tape is misleading as people who have fewer than five employees have to keep very limited paperwork.

IOSH has welcomed the proposal to ask the HSE to direct all local authority inspection and enforcement to make sure it targets the most risky businesses but cautions that it places more demands on the already stretched HSE.

Meanwhile, according to a report in the Law Gazette, in a speech this week at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum, Professor Ragnar LÖfstedt said he was not in favour of ‘radical’ reform, despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s vow earlier in the month to kill off the ‘monster’ of health and safety, during which he referenced the LÖfstedt report.

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