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Grayling calls for greater reforms

19 April 2011

IOSH’s Executive Director of Policy, Dr Luise Vassie, was recently invited to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for a meeting with Minister of Employment, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP.

Chris Grayling
Chris Grayling

The meeting, was the official announcement to the industry and general public that Mr Grayling MP would be steering the recent Government review ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’. Although the Government has accepted everything within the report and its lead departments are working on its implementation, he said that today would see “a new start for health and safety regulation for Britain’s businesses”.

At the meeting, Mr Grayling MP said: “Sensible health and safety at work helps to maintain a healthy and productive workforce and contributes to economic prosperity. The burden of health and safety red tape has, however, become too great, with too many inspections of relatively low risk and well-performing workplaces, frequent, poor health and safety advice to businesses from badly qualified consultants, and a complex structure for regulation. “To address these issues, the Government is today publishing its plans for the reform of the health and safety system.” Within his address Mr Grayling officially announced:

• The OSHCR consultants register for health and safety professionals, calling it the “official Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register, for those health and safety practitioners who are properly accredited to one of the professional bodies in the industry”
• A substantial drop in the number of health and safety inspections in Britain
• Charges for organisations that fail to meet their obligations (no cost to the taxpayer)
• The launch of “Health and Safety Made Simple” - guidelines for lower risk small and medium-sized businesses with the “essential” health and safety information they will need all in one place -
• An immediate review of health and safety regulation overseen by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, Director of the King’s Centre for Risk Management at King’s College London.

Luise said: “We welcome the announcements that the Government has made today and the opportunity to be part of the solution. “The health and safety sector has been given a large amount of information to digest and there is still a huge amount to be done. It’s great that the Government recognise the value of ‘good’ health and safety advice for productive workforces and economic prosperity. “IOSH welcomes moves to drive out any rogues from health and safety consultancy – and has been calling for Government support on this for some years. We’re pleased to have been involved in the development of OSHCR and to see it go live today. “It’s also good to see new guidance for ‘lower risk’ employers and moves to charge non-compliers for investigation and enforcement action. We believe this will help to make the financial argument for good health and safety, whilst helping to develop a level playing field between the good guys and the bad, and help optimise the use of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) resources.”

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