UK Politics

Health and safety report: Key proposals

Lord Young's report Common Sense, Common Safety calls for a shake-up of health and safety measures to an end "senseless" rules and regulations and tackle Britain's "compensation culture".

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he backs all of the proposed reforms and wants to see them implemented. Here is a rundown of Lord Young's main recommendations.

"Compensation culture"

Image caption Lord Young's report says the cost of litigation is a burden to public and private sectors

Simplify the claims procedure for personal injury and look into the possibility of doing the same in low value medical negligence cases.

Consider extending the upper limit for road traffic accident personal injury claims to £25,000.

Introduce the recommendations in Lord Justice Jackson's review of civil litigation costs earlier this year which would limit the costs for the losing side in 'no win no fee' actions

Restrict the operation of referral agencies and personal injury lawyers and control the volume and type of advertising.

Ensure people will not be held liable for any consequences due to well-intentioned voluntary acts on their part.

"Low-risk" workplaces

Simplify risk assessment procedures for low hazard workplaces such as offices, classrooms and shops. Simpler interactive risk assessments could be made available on the Health and Safety Executive's website.

Health and Safety Executive to develop checklists for businesses and voluntary organisations in low risk environments to help them record compliance.

Exempt employers from risk assessments for employees working from home in a low hazard environment. Exempt self-employed people in low hazard businesses from risk assessments.

Reporting accidents at work

Image caption In many workplaces the risk of accident or injury is low, according to the report

Review procedures by which businesses have to report workplace accidents.

Extend to seven days the period before an injury or accident needs to be reported.

The HSE should re-examine the operation of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 to determine whether this is the best approach to providing an accurate national picture of workplace accidents.

Raising standards

Professionalise health and safety consultants with a qualification requirement that all consultants should be accredited to professional bodies. Establish a web-based directory of accredited health and safety consultants.

Insurance

Insurance companies should stop low risk businesses having to employ health and safety consultants to carry out full health and safety risk assessments.

There should be consultation with the insurance industry to ensure that worthwhile activities are not unnecessarily prevented on health and safety grounds. Insurance companies should draw up a code of practice on health and safety for businesses and the voluntary sector.

Education

Image caption Health and safety red tape puts school trips under threat, it is claimed

Introduce a simplified risk assessment for classrooms and a single consent form that covers all activities a child may undertake during his or her time at a school.

Shift from a system of risk assessment to a system of risk-benefit assessment.

Abolish the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority and replace licensing with a code of practice.

Local authorities

Officials who ban events on health and safety grounds should put their reasons in writing.

Citizens should have a right of redress with local authorities carrying out a review of their decision to ban an event.

There should be a right of appeal to an ombudsman who may award damages where it is not possible to reinstate an event.

Health and safety legislation

Consolidate health and safety regulations. The HSE should produce separate guidance under the Code of Practice for low risk small and medium businesses.

Ensure that EU health and safety rules for low risk businesses are not overly prescriptive. Look to enhance the role for the HSE for large multi-site retail businesses as soon as practicable.

Combining health and safety and food safety inspections

Local authority inspectors to be made responsible for both areas. Make mandatory local authority participation in the Food Standards Agency's Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, where businesses serving or selling food to the public will be given a rating of between nought and five.

The ratings will be published on an online database. Encourage the voluntary display of ratings. Allow inspections by other accredited bodies to reduce the burden on local councils.

Police and fire services

Police officers and firefighters should not be at risk of investigation or prosecution under health and safety legislation when engaged in the course of their duties if they have put themselves at risk as a result of committing a heroic act.

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