Firms want less H&S bureaucracy

Posted on 17 Jan 2011 by The Manufacturer

EEF is calling on the UK to form an alliance with other EU countries to remove red tape around health and safety legislation.

The European Commission has proposed extending regulations in risk assessments for back pain and for companies working with radiation. However, in its annual health & safety survey, the manufacturers’ organisation found that companies are keen to avoid further legislation, reporting in heavy majorities that they feel the current rules are sufficient and that they would prefer a case study approach for any additional guidance.

Steve Pointer, EEF Head of Health & Safety, said: “The legislative framework in the UK is mature and there is little belief amongst those managing health & safety that further legislation would raise standards. However, whilst there is pressure in the UK to reduce legislation and remove unnecessary bureaucracy, the European Commission is moving in the opposite direction, continuing to propose new legal requirements.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been taking a pragmatic and constructive approach to EU legislation. However, the UK government needs to redouble its work with other member states to build a coalition for change. The European Commission’s next health and safety strategy needs to focus on improving consistency of application of existing requirements, not on producing further legislation.”

Companies do not want licenses introduced for in-house heath and safety advisers and external consultants either. Instead, they prefer a voluntary accreditation system which is due to be released shortly, as per a recommendation in Lord Young’s recent ‘Common Sense: Common Safety’ report to the prime minister.

EEF has today launched its latest case study guidance on musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and repetitive strain injuries. The guidance provides practical examples of how to tackle common problems and is freely available to all EEF members at