Government to Review Health and Safety Laws
by Katy Murcutt - Paralegal
14 June 2010, filed under Health and Safety
The coalition government has declared the appointment of Lord Young to lead an investigation to quash the UKs compensation culture.
Lord David Young, who was a trade and industry secretary under Margaret Thatcher in the late 1980s, has been chosen to lead the review of health and safety policy due to his past experiences and impartiality to the current government.
Many restaurants throughout the United Kingdom no longer provide toothpicks in a bid to protect themselves from claims, and at an annual pancake in race in Yorkshire contestants were told they must walk and not run after it had rained on the morning of the race.
It is believed that Lord Young shall endeavour to restore the notion of common sense rather than to amend health and safety rules in general. Earlier he stated that the compensation culture has occurred as a result of the interpretation of the laws, rather than the laws themselves. He further stated that the system in place must be “proportionate and not bureaucratic”.
Health and safety is necessary in the majority of industries but there is concern that the application of health and safety laws has placed a heavy and unnecessary burden on companies after the application of the laws have been too widely based. Trade unions have expressed a warning against changes being made to health and safety laws that may place protective legislation into disrepute for the majority of employees in the work place.
The government believe that the focus of health and safety laws has long been drifting into the compensation culture we have today, which has proved detrimental to many industries unable to satisfy the interpreted scope of the health and safety regulations.
Prime Minister David Cameron has commented that the rise in compensation culture over the last decade is a concern, as well as how health and safety regulations are often applied. He continued to express the need for a new and clearer approach that ensures health and safety laws protect people rather than create red tape that businesses must comply with or else pay out often excessive compensation.
Lord Young’s review is expected to be finalised and published this summer.
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