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Feb 5, 2013

Businesses could save millions as ‘common sense’ returns to health and safety

Two reports have revealed the Government is making significant progress in attempting to restore common sense to health and safety; potentially saving businesses millions.

The first report comes from Professor Ragnar Lofstedt who found the government have put into place many of the measures he suggested could tackle over-zealous health and safety procedures in 2011.

A second report found 23 of the 35 suggestions in Lord Young’s 2010 ‘Commons Sense, Common Safety’ paper had been implemented.

Lord Young suggested changes should be made to stop the growth of a compensation culture and address the unfavourable view many have of health and safety regulations.

Mark Hoban, Minster for Employment, said: “For too long businesses have been confused by health and safety regulations which cost them money and take up time when they should be focusing on growth.

“Health and safety is important, but its focus should be where risks are high. These reports show just how much progress we have made in restoring clarity to the system, and over the coming months I'll be making sure common sense prevails.”

It is thought simply changing regulations surrounding the reporting of workplace accidents could save businesses £5 million over a 10-year period.

Other changes include streamlining risk assessment procedures, scrapping outdated guidelines, and simplifying the procedures by which businesses test electrical equipment.

Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses’ Health and Safety committee Mark Boughton commented: “The FSB welcomes the progress made so far on reforming health and safety and the work being done to cut unnecessary red tape, which will save small businesses time and money.

“It is important that employers can focus on managing real risk, not unnecessary paperwork, and these changes are helping to achieve that.”

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