Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Government targets reform of health and safety laws

David Cameron has asked Lord Young to lead a Whitehall-wide review into the 'growth of the compensation culture'

A Government-commissioned review into health and safety laws will seek to inject some "common sense" back into the workplace, it has been announced.

The Prime Minister has asked Lord Young of Graffham to lead a Whitehall-wide review into the "growth of the compensation culture".

The Conservative peer, who as David Young served as trade and industry secretary under Margaret Thatcher, is expected to report to Downing Street in the summer.

He will investigate concerns over the "application and perception" of health and safety legislation, together with the "rise of the compensation culture over the last decade."

David Cameron said: "I'm very pleased that Lord Young has agreed to lead this important review.

"The rise of the compensation culture over the last ten years is a real concern, as is the way health and safety rules are sometimes applied.

"We need a sensible new approach that makes clear these laws are intended to protect people, not overwhelm businesses with red tape. I look forward to receiving Lord Young's recommendations on how we can best achieve that."

Lord Young said Britain needed a system that was "proportionate and not bureaucratic".

"Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services," he said.

"I hope my review will reintroduce an element of common sense and focus the regulation where it is most needed."

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