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Self-employed set to benefit in health and safety shake-up
Government plans have been announced for a major reduction in health and safety rules, with the first changes taking effect from January.
An immediate consultation will begin abolish large numbers of health and safety regulations, with the intention of scrapping the first rules within months.
From 1 January, a new challenge panel will be introduced, which will allow businesses to get the decisions of health and safety inspectors overturned immediately if they have got it wrong.
The move follows publication on 28 November of the Löfstedt Review into health and safety legislation, commissioned by Employment Minister Chris Grayling in March.
The government has accepted the recommendations made by Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt in the report. They include a recommendation that health and safety law should not apply to self-employed people whose work activity poses no potential risk of harm to others, set to benefit around one million 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 approximately 200 existing regulations.
The report also makes recommendations to ensure that employers are not held responsible for damages when they have done all they can to manage risks.
Chris Grayling said: "By accepting the recommendations of Professor Löfstedt we are putting common sense back at the heart of health and safety. Our reforms will root out needless bureaucracy and be a significant boost to the million self-employed people who will be moved out of health and safety regulation altogether.
"We will also ensure our reforms put an emphasis on personal responsibility. It cannot be right that employers are responsible for damages when they have done all they can to manage the risk. Fundamentally we will ensure the health and safety system is fit for purpose through streamlining the maze of regulations and ensuring consistency across the board."
Link: Health and safety reform