The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today warmly welcomed the publication of Lord Young’s report into health and safety.
HSE has already been working with others to develop responses to two of the recommendations:
• a 20-minute online risk assessment for offices, which was launched today, with other web tools for similarly low-risk workplaces to follow
• a new Occupational Safety Consultants Register (OSCR), which will be set up in January 2011.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said:
“Lord Young’s report is an important milestone on the road to recovery for the reputation of real health and safety. HSE welcomes it and will be actively pursuing those recommendations within our remit.
“We welcomed the review when it was announced by the Prime Minister in June and we are looking forward to contributing to its implementation.
“Publication of the report is a tremendous opportunity to refocus health and safety on what it is really about – managing workplace risks. Getting this right is good for employers, employees and Britain as a whole.
“We’ve been saying for some time that health and safety is being used by too many people as a convenient excuse to hide behind. Often it is invoked to disguise somebody’s motives – concerns over costs or complexity, an unwillingness to defend an unpopular decision or simple laziness. Lord Young is sweeping these excuses away.
“HSE will continue to champion a sensible and proportionate approach to dealing with serious risks in the workplace – not eliminating every minor risk from everyday life.”
The Occupational Safety Consultants Register will provide firms with details of consultants who have met the highest qualification standard of recognised professional bodies and who are bound by a code of conduct that requires them to give advice which is sensible and proportionate.
The 20-minute online risk assessment will help employers in office-based environments to consider relevant hazards and think about how they control them. It will also help employers to avoid unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy. The online tool works by prompting employers to answer a series of questions about their workplace and then generates a unique risk assessment with series of actions. Similar online tools for other low risk workplaces are also being developed.
Notes to editors
1. The online risk assessment tool for offices can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/office.htm
2. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
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