Major review of health and safety laws launched by Alistair Darling

Chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling has launched a major review of business health and safety laws.

The review, announced in a speech at the CBI annual conference earlier this week, will ask employers, workers and experts for their views on how the health and safety system can be revamped, focusing on small and low-risk businesses.

Many small employers have limited resources, find it difficult to work out what broad health and safety duties mean for their workplace and are unsure of when to take advice and from whom.

Better regulation minister Pat McFadden said: “I am fully aware of some of the considerable challenges that small firms face in protecting their workers from injuries and ill-health.

“The government must work smarter to make it easier for employers to follow the rules, as this will benefit everyone and contribute to making our society safer.”

The Health and Safety Executive has also published its simplification plan and claims to have already reduced the number of forms businesses have to fill in by 50%.

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