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Body backs work safety reform plans

Body backs work safety reform plans

Businesses have supported health and safety law reform plans put forward by the Government, saying the red tape involved in adhering to such rules is out of proportion to employees’ risks.

Constant form-filling and high compliance costs were singled out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) in its backing for the plans to simplify regulations. Proposals in the Löfstedt Report included axing “strict liability” which entails automatic responsibility for employers over workplace accidents or injuries regardless of any prevention measures they took.

Health and safety rules sometimes created an unnecessary burden, according to Adam Marshall, policy director at the BCC, which represents smaller companies. Mr Marshall said that while no employers want accidents, firms will welcome the “evidence-based conclusions of Professor Ragnar Löfstedt’s review of health and safety, as well as the Government’s promise to swiftly implement its findings”.

Meanwhile, a senior figure in manufacturers’ body the EEF urged the Government to ensure any proposed rules are “risk and evidence-based”. Clarifying duties on everyday issues like use of a stepladder or testing electronic appliances mean the Government could help remove costs and give businesses greater confidence to grow, said its health and safety head Terry Woolmer.

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