A breath of fresh (healthy) air

Health and safety law is grim. It'sa trap waiting to spring on unsuspecting businesses because case law states that following an incident the organisation involved is effectively guilty until proven innocent. Combine thiswith a litigious society, andthe only true winners are the claimants and the la

Health and safety law is grim. It's a trap waiting to spring on unsuspecting businesses because case law states that following an incident the organisation involved is effectively guilty until proven innocent.

Combine this with a litigious society, and the only true winners are the claimants and the lawyers; businesses rarely come out smiling.

It's irritatingly true that common sense has been locked up in the asylum. Why should a cup of tea be labelled as "hot''? And surely if an individual deliberately bypasses a guard on a piece of machinery he shouldn't be able to claim.

But of course, there are times when employers cut corners and it's this that health and safety law should curb.

And so it is warming to know that Lord Young has published a report for the Government entitled "Common Sense, Common Safety".

In his report, the former trade secretary details polices for improving health and safety, minimising the burden on small businesses and restricting the activities of "no win - no fee" lawyers.

If enacted life should be a little more reasonable.

This was last published in October 2010

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