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15th October 2010

PM to revive health and safety laws

The Government has vowed to stop businesses having to "jump through hoops" to meet health and safety legislation and restore the public image of the sector.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to tackle a "damaging" compensation culture and he called for an end to "senseless" rules and regulations.

He said a review carried out by former Conservative minister Lord Young could act as a "turning point" as Lord Young said the standing of health and safety in the eyes of the public had never been lower.

Mr Cameron, in a foreword to Lord Young's report, said the Government would curtail the promotional activities of irresponsible claims and management companies he said had helped fuel the compensation culture.

A few of these legal companies, which do not represent the whole industry, have used disreputable techniques to get customers and tarnished the sector.

The PM said: "We're going to focus regulations where they are most needed, with a new system that is proportionate, not bureaucratic, that treats adults like adults, and reinstates some common sense and trust."

Business groups, including many law firms, welcomed the review, but the TUC complained that the report did not contain a single proposal which will reduce the high levels of workplace death, injuries and illness.

Lord Young said there was a "growing fear" among business owners of having to pay out for even the most unreasonable claims. He added that the system for claiming compensation was a growing industry and urged that the incentives for claiming compensation had to change.

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