ConDem Government Marks ‘Freedom From Safety Day’

5 Oct 2013

Business minister Michael Fallon has been criticised by a top safety campaigner after he claimed a new round of cuts to safety regulations are ‘good news for the growth prospects of UK companies.’ Workplace health and safety measures dominated the cuts to ‘red tape’ highlighted by the minister. These included barring ‘strict liability’ compensation claims for workplace injuries, dramatically curtailing workplace injury and disease reporting requirements, making it more difficult for employees to pursue workplace harassment claims against their employers and removing the requirement for the Health and Safety Executive to approve training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel.

Marking ‘Freedom Day’ on 1 October, business minister Michael Fallon said: ‘Reducing government interference is improving Britain’s international reputation as a low-regulation, pro-business nation, but more must be done. To give our firms the best chance of winning on the global stage, we will press for more cuts in red tape in Europe, as well as at home.’

But Hilda Palmer of the Hazards Campaign said the event marked ‘freedom from having to give a damn about health and safety day’. She added: ‘Workplace safety has been the top target of the government’s attack on ‘red tape’ or, to you and me, the regulations that save our necks. There’s lots of ‘burdens’ arguments given in justifying the move, all bogus.’ She said properly enforced health and safety regulations not only save lives, they are good for the bottom line and protect responsible businesses from being undercut by the rogues.