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Health and Safety

The Issue

Health and safety regulations are essential for keeping our members and their employees safe while at work. We think that like all regulation, health and safety rules should be risk-based and proportionate. They should also be as simple and easy to comply with as possible.

Our research shows health and safety regulations are are the type of regulation most salient to FSB members’ businesses.

Our members tell us that Health and Safety laws involve excessive administrative requirements, are often poorly designed for their intended purpose and badly drafted. In order to comply expensive external advice is frequently required by smaller firms, their profits are negatively impacted and such regulations constrain the ability of smaller businesses to take on new workers and invest in innovation.

In addition to statutory regulation ‘blue tape’ is a big issue in some sectors. ‘Blue tape’ are not legal requirements but additional obligations that, for example, are required by big contactors in order to bid for or undertake contract work. Such practices are prevalent in sectors where Health and Safety is a big concern e.g. construction.

Action FSB has taken

  • We supported Government reforms to exempt self-employed people undertaking in low-risk activities, from some health and safety regulations.
  • We maintain good relations with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and lobby them to ensure that the guidance they provide to smaller businesses is usable and relevant and encourage them to regulate in as proportionate and risk-based way as possible. 
  • Urged the Government to, post-Brexit, review and then comprehensively reform the body of Health and Safety law, along the lines described below.

Our Ask

We want all employers and employees to be safe at work. However FSB believe Health and Safety laws need to be:

  • Simplified.
  • Allow more scope for smaller firms to comply in ways most appropriate to the nature of their business.
  • Be more risk-based and provide partial exemptions from some Health and Safety obligations that are unnecessary because of the size, sector or location of the business.

FSB Health and Safety Advice

A dedicated resource destination for Health & Safety advice and news with regularly updated documents written by Health & Safety experts.

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Related Links

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