Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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Health and safety law reforms

The Government has announced plans to begin a major cut back of health and safety legislation as early as January. It will begin an immediate consultation on the abolition of large numbers of health and safety regulations and intends to have removed the first rules from the statute book within a few months.

It will also establish from 1st January a new challenge panel which will allow businesses to get the decisions of health and safety inspectors overturned immediately if they have got it wrong.

The move follows the publication of the Löfstedt Review into health and safety legislation, commissioned by the Employment Minister in March.

It recommends that health and safety law should not apply to self-employed people whose work activity poses no potential risk of harm to others. The changes if implemented would affect around a million self-employed people.

Health and safety regulations will be reduced by a third rising to over a half over the next three years, through combining, simplifying and reducing the approximately 200 existing regulations. The role of the Health and Safety Executive in relation to local authorities will be significantly strengthened. The report also recommends that employers should not be held responsible for damages when they have done all they can to manage risks.

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