Government announces review into workplace health and safety laws

The government has announced a major review into workplace health and safety laws, in particular looking at ways to slash the burden of regulation and make it easier for smaller businesses to understand the rules and their responsibilities.

In November chancellor Alistair Darling called for views from employers, workers and health and safety experts on how the system can be revamped, with a deadline of the end of this month.

The government first said it would be carrying out a review back in July as part of a wider reform of the regulatory landscape.

The review is being led by the Department for Business and Enterprise and will focus on how to make it easier for businesses to follow health and safety laws as well as how to improve public confidence in the health and safety system.

Better regulation minister Pat McFadden said: “The government must work [harder] to make it easier for employers to follow the rules, as this will benefit everyone and contribute to a safer society.”

A series of events will be held around the UK to enable people to give their views in person.

At the same time, the Health and Safety Executive has published a simplification plan designed to cut bureaucracy in health and safety.

Already the number of forms had been cut by 50%, it said, and it would now be publishing sector specific examples developed in partnership with small businesses.

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