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Reducing the health and safety burden

The government has published two reports which demonstrate the progress being made in reducing the health and safety burden on businesses, while ensuring individuals are protected.

According to the first report, the government has implemented 23 of the 35 recommendations made by Lord Young in his 2010 paper, Commons Sense, Common Safety, which tackled both the negative image of health and safety law and the rise of compensation culture.

The other focuses on the recommendations made in Professor Lofstedt’s 2011 study, Reclaiming Health and Safety for All, which aimed to help businesses focus on growth rather than red tape. His proposals were accepted in full by the government when the report was released.

Amongst the changes to health and safety legislation is the removal of inspections for all but the most high-risk businesses from April 2013, including those involved in construction and food production or where an accident has recently occurred.

In addition, businesses will only be liable for civil damages if it can be shown that they acted negligently once the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill receives Royal Assent.

By 2014, the government aims to have reviewed, abolished or simplified 50 percent of all health and safety regulations.