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Health and safety liability no longer automatic

The strict liability regime that considers companies automatically responsible for some workplace injuries is to be removed after the measure gained approval from the House of Lords.

While the Health and Safety at Work Act currently enforces civil liability regardless of whether or not a company did anything to cause the breach in statutory duty that resulted in the accident, the reforms will mean that individuals now need to prove negligence before they can make a claim.

The government remains of the view that “it is not reasonable or fair that employers should be held liable to pay compensation when they have done nothing wrong and taken all reasonable steps to protect their employees,” said Viscount Younger.

“The codified framework of requirements, responsibilities and duties placed on employers to protect their employees from harm are unchanged, and will remain relevant as evidence of the standards expected of employees in future civil claims for negligence.”