HSC says don't Overcomplicate Health and Safety

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2007-08-01 08:54:06

As a part of the Government's Better Regulation Agenda the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have initiated a dedicated project to help small and medium size businesses (SMEs) to fulfil their health and safety requirements as outlined by law. With this initiative HSE aims to reduce the cost of risk assessment to most business by a third. Speaking at an event that announced a number of government better regulation initiatives HSC Chair Sir Bill Callaghan said, "What has come to be known as 'elfandsafety' can be a frustrating business. In part it's frustrating because so many of the stories you hear are based on misinterpretations of the law, or the misguided actions of a few individuals. In reality much health and safety law is flexible, but it can be intimidating if you are not sure what is required." Building on HSE's sensible risk campaign Sir Bill announced the launch of three more of HSE's example risk assessments to help businesses. He continued, "We are saying you don't need to overcomplicate things, keep your risk assessment fit for purpose, make it a living document and act on it. Risk assessment should be about what practical steps you need to take to protect people, not paperwork for its own sake. By itself, filling in a form never saved a life. It should be a means to an end - sensible risk management." HSE has been working closely with stakeholders to develop industry-specific concise and practical example risk assessments that will help businesses with the information they need to make informed decisions, and make significant impact on the amount of time and money they feel they need to spend managing the risks in their workplaces. This project will help SMEs understand what a 'good enough' risk assessment looks like. At the same event the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) launched it's study of the cumulative impact of health and safety regulation on low risk businesses which HSE will be supporting.

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