UK Politics

Conservative Party: Reducing the burden of health and safety

News   •   Dec 02, 2009 10:50 GMT

David Cameron has said that the "all-pervasive rules culture" is one of the most infuriating things about living in Britain.

Speaking to the Policy Exchange, he made it clear that the Conservatives will reduce the burden and impact of health and safety legislation - and that it will be done in a responsible and sober way.

In developing that approach he said the Conservatives will do two things:

  • Establish clear and specific principles about when health and safety legislation is appropriate, and when it is not, so we can evaluate whether existing or future legislation is necessary.
  • Propose practical changes in the law to both bring an end to the culture of excessive litigation while at the same time giving legal safeguards to those who need them most.
  • Cameron also announced that Lord David Young will lead an extensive review for the Party with a focus on some specific questions:

    • How can we best protect what are effectively 'Good Samaritans'? Is it possible to extend legal protection for all people acting in good faith – especially public service professionals?
    • How can we help alleviate some of the health and safety oversight that currently burdens small, local and voluntary organisations? At the moment if their work benefits the local council they fall under health and safety law.
    • Civil Liability Act – do we need to define civil liability for negligence in statute?  At the moment there is no single Act of Parliament that ties all this work together. Lord Young will examine whether such an Act would be necessary and effective in reducing our excessive health and safety culture.