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David Cameron Speaks Out about Health and Safety Changes
David Cameron has spoken to the Health and Safety Executive asking them to bring forward the proposed changes in Health and Safety legislation. The Prime Minister, who called Health and Safety “a monster”, wants the new methods of monitoring, recording and maintaining health and safety in the workplace as early as the end of 2012. By doing so he is hoping to bring an end to the confusion and problems caused by the extensive paperwork and help businesses deal with the red tape in a more productive manner.
Compensations fears a major concern according to David Cameron
One of the main reasons for bringing in the simpler rules is to help businesses to overcome their fear of health and safety. Many firms find it a daunting task to keep up with paper work and ensure that they maintain a safe environment for their workers. Many self-employed people find it hard to get the head around the duties and regulations which are relevant to them, and so the self-employed are likely to be taken out of the whole equation.
The Prime Minister put heavy focus on the fact that businesses are worried about being sued in this compensation seeking era. As it stands lawyers’ fees are carefully controlled in traffic accident claims where the compensation is less than £10,000. In the near future it is likely that this will be further increased to cover claims worth £25,000 and will also include any employees seeking compensation from their employers.
Inappropriate handling of vital services designed to protect lives
Not everyone approves of the way that David Cameron went about discussing the problems, especially when using the term ‘monster’. The head of policy and public affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Richard Jones spoke about the way that the government has exaggerated the fear of being sued which is being encouraged through marketing.
Mr Jones stated that the reason there is legislation is to protect workers from injuries and death on the workplace, and therefore the term ‘monster’ is unfair. The caps are in place on the amount of fees so that defendants do not need to concern themselves too much with the costs which may be involved, therefore reducing the fear.
Health and Safety Services still available to those confused about current legislations
Until the time when the new legislations come in to practice it is vital that businesses maintain their current policies and follow the rules and laws in place to protect employees and employers alike. Health and Safety services will be able to help by offering complete health and safety audits and other necessary services which will highlight problems which are not being correctly addressed.
Veritas Consulting health and safety consultants will also be able to provide training and help businesses understand, interpret and apply the new legislation once they have been disclosed. Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more about audits, training and the various health and safety services available to businesses of all sizes.