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British Safety Council gives its input to Löfstedt health and safety regulations review


The British Safety Council has met with Ragnar Löfstedt as part of his Government-backed independent review of health and safety regulation, which aims to simplify the rules.

Alex Botha, the British Safety Council's chief executive, said following the meeting: "It was important for us as one of the world's leading advocates of workplace health and safety to have the opportunity to meet with Löfstedt to share the views of our members about the importance of establishing a sensible safety regime that raises standards and saves lives."

Löfstedt, who is professor of risk management at King's College London, was presented with evidence from the British Safety Council's 8,000 corporate members, and its own experience of working with organisations and individuals in applying health and safety regulations.

Botha added: "Our evidence shows the majority of our members view the current health and safety legislative and regulatory framework as sound. "But members report considerable scope for the rationalisation of existing regulations, so as to make compliance far simpler and less confusing."

British Safety Council members identified specific regulations they believe are ripe for change, and these were brought to Löfstedt's attention, along with the need to engage with young workers - the most vulnerable working group. The experience of large firms differs significantly to those of small and medium-sized enterprises, with many SMEs expressing frustration at the difficulties attached to compliance with health and safety regulations.

But it is anticipated Löfstedt's review - due to be published this autumn - will provide lasting assistance for businesses, by simplifying regulations and emphasising the need for clear, relevant and pragmatic guidance. It should also rationalise large areas of health and safety regulation, while maintaining the most effective elements of the UK's health and safety system.

Botha says it is important not to break what is working well, while recognising it is necessary to regularly review the fitness and suitability of the regulatory framework. "We must never lose sight of the fact that workers are still being killed, seriously injured and made ill and the burden this places on individuals, businesses and society," he said.