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Government orders review of business health and safety regulations

The Government has outlined a series of reforms it believes will herald 'a new start for health and safety regulation for Britain's businesses'.

Details of the reform proposals will be put out to public consultation, but the main plan is to modernise the health and safety inspection regime, with inspectors concentrating on high-risk locations and irresponsible employers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) intends to take steps to eliminate 'cowboy' health and safety consultants through the operation of the occupational health and safety consultants' register, which has already received over 1,500 registrations.

Health and safety advice and guidance for small and low-risk businesses is to be made simple, accessible and bureaucracy-free and existing health. Safety law is to be reviewed in a bid to scrap measures that are an unnecessary burden on business, as part of the Government's aim to reduce bureaucracy for small businesses.

The review will be chaired by Ragnar Löfstedt, professor of risk management and the director of King's Centre for Risk Management at King's College London, supported by an independent advisory panel. It will publish its findings in autumn this year. Commenting on the proposals, Lynda Armstrong, chair of the trustees of the British Safety Council, said: "I welcome the continuing momentum to put commonsense back into health and safety. We have always encouraged a professional, proportionate and knowledgeable approach to managing safety in the workplace.

"These recommendations support our aims and we look forward to consulting our members on the proposals. Their views will help inform our submission to Government."