Safety boss backs Government review

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A Government review of health and safety and Britain's "compensation culture" has gained the support of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) top brass.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt has offered to help gather evidence for the review, claiming that health and safety is an "excuse" that many employers and organisations fall back on.

In a letter to Lord Young of Graffham, who is leading the review into Britain's health and safety culture, Ms Hackitt said that those within the organisation had been "saying for some time" that health and safety legislation was being abused.

"The terms of reference of your review extend beyond HSE's remit, which is concerned with addressing real risks and preventing death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work related activities," she wrote.

"However, we in HSE have been saying for some time that health and safety is being used by too many as a convenient excuse to hide behind.

"We welcome your review and stand ready to make available to you whatever information or insight we can."

Lord Young said he aims to prevent health and safety legislation from becoming a "music hall joke", claiming that although there were many professions where health and safety is a legitimate concern, its widespread abuse in everyday life was undermining its value.

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