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AFI-Uplift Welcomes Löfstedt Report On Health & Safety Legislation


Powered access rental specialist AFI-Uplift has welcomed the Department for Work & Pensions’ Löfstedt report on Health & Safety legislation.

Austin Baker, AFI’s Health, Safety, Environment & Quality (HSEQ) Director, said: “If the recommendations from this report are fully implemented it will mean that the number of regulations is reduced and businesses will have clearer guidance on what is required for compliance.”

“This should enable a more cost effective approach to safety management, and organisations will be better protected against unjustified liability claims. It will also mean that businesses whose Health & Safety enforcement is by the local authority should see a more consistent enforcement policy. We are encouraged with the overall content of this report and would recommend that all senior executives take the time to read it,” he added.

Chaired by Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt, Director of the Centre for Risk Management at King's College London, the Löfstedt review aims to reduce the level of bureaucracy, restate the importance of reasonable practicability in Health & Safety regulation and promote greater personal responsibility amongst individuals. It further concluded that any problem "lies less with the regulations themselves and more with the way they are interpreted and applied".

The Government has set a timetable for implementation of the recommendations. This extends to 2014 for some issues but the HSE review of approved Codes of Practice should be completed by June 2012.

Austin Baker added: “Whilst we welcome the report we have to remember that it is only a review, albeit an important one, and its recommendations may not necessarily lead to changes to legislation. Whatever the outcome, it is important for businesses to remain focused on continuing to complete practical risk assessments particularly around key risks and hazardous activities, establishing proportionate risk control systems, deploying the risk control systems, monitoring their effectiveness and reviewing any need for change, and maintaining sufficient records to be able to support the basis of the risk control regime.”

Background Information

Professor Löfstedt’s review made a number of recommendations, which the Government has accepted and the HSE has welcomed. In general terms, the recommendations aim to:

• reduce regulatory requirements on business where they do not lead to improved Health & Safety outcomes, and remove pressures on business to go beyond what the regulations require, enabling them to reclaim ownership of the management of Health & Safety.
• exempt from H&S law those self-employed people whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others.
• an HSE review of all its Approved Codes of Practice.
• a sector specific consolidation of regulations.
• strengthen the HSE’s policy role as regards local authority enforcement of Health & Safety to drive consistency in their approach.
• re-emphasise the original intention of the pre-action protocols standard disclosure list is clarified and restated. The report also recommends that regulatory provisions that impose strict liability should be reviewed and either qualified with ‘reasonably practicable’ where strict liability is not absolutely necessary or amended to prevent civil liability from attaching to a breach of those provisions.
• Engage with the European Commission in relation to the planned review of Health & Safety regulation in 2013.
• Recommend the revocation of the Notification of Tower Cranes Regulations 2010, the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes (Amendment) Regulations 2010, and the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989.
• Recommend that the H&S (First Aid) Regulations 1981 – CDM Regulations 2007 – RIDDOR Regulations 1995 – Work at Height regulations 2005 are amended, clarified or reviewed.

Issued by Phoenix Public Relations (01482) 219898.

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