Health and safety not detrimental to business

Health and safety red tape is not having a detrimental impact on business, with many employers saying that no more work needs to be done to lessen the administrative burden.

This is according to a survey by legal firm Norton Rose, which found that 59% of those responsible for health and safety in their organisation felt that the legislation in this area is currently “about right”, with only one-third describing it as onerous.

In October 2010, Lord Young made a number of recommendations to lessen the health and safety burden on small business.

However, a large majority (78%) of the 500 respondents to the Norton Rose survey said that the current legislation has no negative impact on their business beyond taking up management time.

Caroline May, partner and head of the planning, environment and health and safety practice at Norton Rose, explained that although the issue is very much on the Government’s “policy radar”, it is not an area for concern in many businesses.

“What our study has shown is that the commercial impact on business of health and safety legislation is relatively minor,” she said.

“It has become fashionable to decry the red tape burdens of health and safety, but a significant amount of respondents to our survey felt that it was a non-issue.”

However, May did add that some respondents expressed a willingness to see a degree of change in the current regime: “That’s not to say that there is no room for improvement. The survey identified some important improvements that should be examined. These included the more bespoke application of regulation to differing industry sectors and the desire for more personal, face-to-face interaction with the HSE.”

For more information on health and safety laws, see XpertHR’s employer reference manual.

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