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Government ‘Must Be Consistent On Health And Safety Reforms’

Expert Comments Following Lofstedt Review


The government must ensure that any reform of health and safety legislation is undertaken with very careful consideration following the release of the Lofstedt Review, a workplace injury expert at Irwin Mitchell has warned.

It has been revealed that ministers are planning to reduce regulations related to safety significantly over the next three years, through a review and simplification of existing regulations.

The move has come after the government confirmed it was accepting the recommendations made in a report by Professor Ragnar E Lofstedt, which includes proposals for health and safety law to not apply to self-employed people when their work poses no risk to others.

Commenting on the plans, David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Health and safety legislation plays a key role in protecting so many workers from the potential risks of illness and injury, and the terrible consequences which can emerge when firms fail to follow such guidance are well-known.

“We hope that the review of current regulations is done in a manner which ensures that a consistent approach is taken on health and safety, to ensure employers are given full guidance on the steps they should take to protect their staff and those which fail in this area are rightly held to account.

“In addition, it is vital that any changes related to self-employed people whose work poses no potential risk to others are only implemented where it is clear no risk to third parties exists.

“Our significant hope is that the government closely follows Mr Grayling’s own calls for a ‘common sense’ approach to this important issue of health and safety.

“A reduction in regulations should not mean an increase in risk and I hope ministers carefully consider each and every step they take to ensure legislation remains effective, yet proportionate in keeping workers safe from any potential harm.”