Young Review: Health and safety gone bad
We’re concerned about this morning’s announcements of a new review of health and safety legislation. Lord Young of Graffam plans to:
‘investigate concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade’.
This doesn’t look to be an open and frank review aimed at achieving better regulation. Instead it’s an attempt to undermine the already limited protection that workers have from real risks at work, by focusing on the ‘needs’ of business.
We’re also surprised the Government is addressing the ‘compensation culture’ again as successive reports (including our own) have shown there is no such thing and that claims have been falling over the past ten years.
Businesses are responsible for a working culture that injures a quarter of a million people at work every year and makes a further half a million employees ill. The review should really be investigating that instead.
Rather than focusing solely on the ‘needs of business’, we believe the Government should protect workers too by increasing inspections and enforcement action against employers who put their staff at risk by ignoring the existing laws, as well as introducing a legal duty on directors to protect their workers.