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Lofstedt Review: IOSH says Government's views on health and safety red tape are misleading


The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has responded to the Lofstedt Review of health and safety in the UK, saying Government’s views on health and safety red tape are misleading.

The Institution broadly welcomed the findings of Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, who looked at 200 pieces of health and safety law last year, but is concerned about how the Government plans to take forward his recommendations.

In its response ISOH says exempting from health? and safety law self-employed ?people whose jobs don't pose a?risk to others is unnecessary and unhelpful - it's a backward step and sends out the wrong message. It believes defining work in this way would be difficult, and could cause confusion to self-employed people and micro businesses.

But the Institution added that the Government's claim that this would exempt one million people from "so-called red tape" is misleading - right now, people who have fewer than five employees have to keep very limited paperwork.

It supports the idea of the Health and Safety Executive reviewing its Approved Codes of Practice, but with a first stage deadline of June 2012, but fears the government is trying to do too much, too soon.

The response adds the HSE's budget has been slashed by 35%, and adding this piece of work could mean important functions - from investigating serious accidents to advising and helping businesses - could suffer as a result.

IOSH fully supports the recommendation that the government should work more closely with the European Commission to make sure that EU law is risk- and evidence- based. And we believe that professional bodies such as IOSH, with strong links to the business sector and research community, and vast experience in sensible health and safety management, can make a real difference. The EU review in 2013 gives us a timely opportunity to influence this "critical area".