Ministers urged to support “world class” regulator

Tuesday, 30th Jul '13 at 21:37

IOSH are urging the government to support the UK's "world class" health and safety regulator with more resources, and rethink plans to exempt many workers from laws designed to protect them and others, in response to a Government review.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has submitted written evidence to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as part of a review by Ministers of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a non-departmental public body.

IOSH head of policy and public affairs Richard Jones said: “Our submission strongly supports the continued need for HSE and its current delivery model, as ‘arm’s length’ from government Ministers, and emphasises the need for better resourcing.

“IOSH does not believe that any part of the HSE’s work could be better delivered elsewhere. It has built up significant expertise, experience and competence over many years and its world-wide reputation is testimony to its excellence in these functions. It is a world-class organisation.”

The Institution – the UK’s largest professional body in health and safety – also called for a single enforcement agency, to improve quality, consistency and efficient use of resources. This would end the current arrangement in which HSE inspectors and local authority enforcement officers both perform this function separately.

IOSH has previously raised concerns about the Government’s programme of health and safety deregulation following the publication of an independent report by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt.

Mr Jones said: “We also expressed concern in our response at the speed, scale and nature of change post-Löfstedt, including the proposed exemption of certain self-employed from health and safety law and the loss of important approved codes of practice.

“Additionally, we called on Government to do more to promote the many benefits of good health and safety regulation and to recognise the positive regard in which HSE is held both in the UK and abroad.”

This DWP review was launched to assess the continuing need for HSE’s functions, the best delivery model and whether HSE governance complies with good practice principles.

The full IOSH submission in response to review, "A Review of the Health and Safety Executive as a Non-departmental Public Body – call for evidence", is available to view online here.

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