Self-Employed To Be ‘Exempt’ from Health and Safety Law

hard hatOne million self-employed people will be completely exempt from health and safety law when the Deregulation Bill comes into force, David Cameron announced this week.

In a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses, the Prime Minister outlined the relaxation or removal of over 3,000 regulations, which includes “needless” health and safety regulation.

Mr Cameron said, “We will scrap over-zealous rules which dictate how to use a ladder at work or what no-smoking signs must look like.  We’ve changed the law so that businesses are no longer automatically liable for an accident that isn’t their fault and the new Deregulation Bill will exempt one million self-employed people from health and safety law altogether.”

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said that while IOSH supports the simplification of legislation and guidance, it is against lowering standards that could lead to more accidents and deaths.

“We think it would be unhelpful, unnecessary and unwise to exempt certain self-employed from health and safety law, as the Government is proposing, causing more of a hindrance than a help.

“It’s important to remember that health and safety failures in the UK cost a staggering £13.4 billion per year, double this once you take into account the cost of occupational cancers and property damage.  Whereas, good health and safety saves lives, supports business and sustains the economy.”

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