Health and safety regulation 'is about right', UK businesses say
Posted by Ben Alexander.
While there are regular cries about 'elf and safety gone mad' ringing out up and down the land, most firms actually believe that UK health and safety regulation, such as the use of door signs and office signs, is doing its job.
Legal firm Norton Rose spoke to around 600 employers and found that six out of ten (59 per cent) managers in charge of health and safety at their workplace feel current legislation is "about right", while 88 per cent had enough freedom to take a common-sense approach to safety policies at work.
A third (34 per cent) of managers feel current laws are too austere, however, and 78 per cent said one issue arising from health and safety laws is that they take up a good deal of management time.
Caroline May, partner at Norton Rose, said that despite Lord Young's review into tackling health and safety red tape last year, such laws don't have as big a negative effect on firms as perhaps thought.
"What our study has shown though is that the commercial impact on business of health and safety legislation is relatively minor. It has become fashionable to decry the red tape burdens of health and safety, but a significant amount of respondents to our survey felt it was a non-issue," she said.
But she added that there was still room for improvement, including "bespoke" application of regulation to different industries and the need for more personal interaction with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Recently, the HSE announced plans to make businesses pay when the regulator issues them with prohibition notices.
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