The British Safety Council in its evidence to the Government’s review of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), made clear its view that there was a continuing need for an independent, impartial and expert public body to regulate workplace health & safety.
HSE should continue to be the body that carries out those functions. Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, made clear the views of the organisation and its corporate members,
“We believe that the current legal framework governing workplace health and safety and our regulatory system, including the role performed by HSE, are, to a great extent, working well in preventing workplace injury and ill health. There is a compelling case, which is supported by our corporate members, to leave arrangements, including the role assigned to HSE, as they are because they are working effectively in helping to prevent workplace injury and ill health.
“We believe that the functions carried out by HSE including developing the law, enforcement and inspection, information and advice and research and technical development are important, still relevant and best performed by an independent public body and that should continue to be HSE.
“Changes to our legal framework governing workplace health and safety and within it changes to the functions performed by HSE, should be justified by evidence and undertaken with caution. There is a cost to business of implementing changes. Changes that yield minimal benefit and have little or no impact on health and safety performance should not be made.
“We are concerned that a continuing reduction in both HSE and Local Authority resources and capacity to undertake their respective enforcement roles could have in the longer term an adverse impact on keeping people healthy and safe at work. “HSE is internationally respected and an effective model for the delivery of the functions and activities currently assigned to it by Parliament and Government. It has over the past 39 years contributed significantly to the major improvements in preventing injury and ill health occurrences in GB workplaces. We strongly support HSE continuing to fulfil this valuable role.”
Notes to editors
British Safety Council’s evidence to the Government’s review of HSE
Our evidence can be accessed at https://www.britsafe.org/triennial-review-health-and-safety-executive
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