The government has confirmed a Budget commitment to cull or revise 84 per cent of the UK's health and safety laws (Risks 548), but can't or won't say which laws are in its sights. Questioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) publication SHP Online after chancellor George Osborne's 21 March statement, a Treasury spokesperson confirmed '167 of the 199 health and safety regulations considered as part of the Red Tape Challenge' will either be withdrawn or improved. She could not give a more detailed breakdown, however. The TUC condemned the Budget as a series of measures 'for the rich by the rich' incorporating a 'regurgitated mish-mash' of pro-business moves that tell employers safety is unimportant and can be ignored. Criticisms continued this week, with one personal injury expert demanding greater clarity from the government on its plans. David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, said the deregulatory moves were 'very worrying.' He added: 'The preciseness with which the figure of 84 per cent has been put forward indicates that ministers have a clear idea on how they can make changes. What we want to see now is a full breakdown of the suggested changes and how they intend to implement them over the next couple of years.' The personal injury expert said: 'It needs to be remembered that a good health and safety record can mean more business as such matters are being increasingly considered by prospective customers.'
Issued: 30 March, 2012