Government health and safety reform unveiled
Posted by Nicole Stevens.
Reviewing the use of health and safety signage and warning signs in the workplace could be part of newly-announced government plans to reform health and safety law in the UK.
Outlining the proposals yesterday (Monday March 21st), employment minister Chris Grayling said a review of all health and safety law would take place that will look to scrap unnecessary measures that are putting a "burden" on businesses.
The plans have been broadly welcomed by employers and criticised by unions.
Also included in the reform package is to free the vast majority of British businesses from burdensome red tape and regulations, instead focusing on regulation of high hazard sites and tackling rogue employers and consultants.
Responsible employers will no longer face automatic health and safety inspections. Instead inspectors will focus on high-risk sites, like energy facilities.
The government said this measure will cut the number of inspections carried out in the UK by at least a third.
Mr Grayling said: "The purpose of health and safety regulation is to protect people at work and rightly so. But we need common sense at the heart of the system, and these measures will help root out the needless burden of bureaucracy."
David Frost, director-general of The British Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the proposals, saying: "A thorough review of health and safety rules can only be good news, provided it is followed by real action to reduce burdens on businesses."
But the Trades Union Congress (TUC) criticised the government's plans. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said they were bad for workers' health and safety and the economy.
"Employers need to know that there is the possibility of a safety inspector visiting, otherwise there will be no incentive for them to ensure they are protecting their workers," he said.
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