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Proposals to exempt self-employed from health and safety law

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a three-month consultation on proposals to exempt self-employed people whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others from health and safety law.

The Löfstedt review recommended that people who work for themselves be taken out of health and safety law if their work posed no risk to others.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places duties on self-employed people to ensure that they and others affected by their activities are not exposed to harm.

Sarah Wadham, HSE Policy Advisor, said:

"The questions in the Consultative Document concern how best to give effect to Professor Löfstedt's recommendation and HSE would particularly welcome comments from the self-employed about the proposal."

The exemption will not extend to those self-employed whose work activities pose a potential risk of harm to others or who employ others.

The changes will not apply for self-employed people in high-risk work environments (eg farm or construction) and will not affect the duties that others have towards a self-employed person.

The consultation will end on 28th October 2012. The HSE Board will make a recommendation to ministers based on the results of the consultation.

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