A report by Lord Young of Graffham to the Prime Minister following a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation.
Lord Young Review
A Return to a Common Sense approach to Safety
The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) welcomed the publishing of ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ the report by Lord Young of Graffham following a review of current health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture.
A wide-reaching review, which does not apply to hazardous occupations, but seeks to reduce overzealous application of health and safety rules in non-hazardous occupations and the increasing occurrence of disproportionate compensation claims awarded for trivial reasons, the report sets out a number of recommendations focussing regulation in the areas in which it is most needed.
Key components of the Report include the simplification of the risk assessment procedures for low hazard workplaces; raising standards amongst health and safety professionals and the creation of a web based directory of accredited health and safety consultants; consultation with the insurance industry to tackle the compensation culture; the simplification of risk assessment requirements for schools and similar organisations; the requirement for Local Authority officials to put in writing the reason for a ban on an event on health and safety grounds as well as routes of redress and the award of damages should an event not be reinstated; the consolidation of current health and safety regulations and clear guidance for small and medium businesses engaged in lower risk activities including HSE produced downloadable checklists for small businesses; and the extension to seven days for the period before an injury or accident needs to be reported under RIDDOR 1995.
Brian Nimick, Chief Executive of IIRSM said: “The return to proportionality and the emphasis on common sense and personal responsibility embodied in the report are welcomed by IIRSM. The move away from a climate of compensation to one of prevention can only benefit the working lives of everyone. The UK can rightly be proud of its record of the lowest number of non-fatal accidents and the second lowest number of fatal accidents at work in Europe, but the fact remains that too many people still die as the result of work related accident and illness and any initiative which will impact on this must be welcomed.
“In particular IIRSM welcomes Lord Young’s commitment to raising standards in the health and safety profession and is pleased to be a vital part of the discussions to make this possible through the creation of a voluntary register for health and safety consultants. The Occupational Safety Consultants Register (OSCR) will go live in January 2011 and be managed by the professional bodies involved, with support from the HSE. Central requirements of OSCR membership include a commitment to continuous professional development, a degree equivalent qualification, two years' experience, and professional indemnity insurance. Members of the register will be bound by a code of conduct to providing sensible and proportionate advice. Membership of OSCR will be available to Fellow members of IIRSM, which is accessible to our members after five consecutive years at full member level in the Health and Safety Practitioner Stream, recognising their expertise and knowledge within the health and safety industry.
“For too long the compensation culture and the mass media have hijacked the health and safety agenda creating a climate of fear and risk avoidance. IIRSM firmly believes the measure in this report will go a long way to addressing the balance.”