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March 7, 2023

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UK government ‘woefully out of touch’ on health and safety standards

Seven in 10 UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards as part of the Retained EU Law Bill, according to new research.

Credit: Alamy Stock

A poll of 2,000 UK business owners run by Unchecked UK and supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), showed that health and safety remains a priority, with just seven per cent saying they are willing to accept lower standards.

Fewer than a fifth quizzed cited excessive Government regulation as the toughest issue facing them right now, with concerns around energy costs (70 per cent), inflation (65 per cent) and labour shortages (45 per cent) coming top of the worry list.

When asked about government regulation of UK businesses, survey participants identified several of advantages.

The most important reason identified is to create a level playing field for businesses preventing firms from being undercut by businesses using poor corporate practices (34 per cent).

The second highest reason given on the importance of regulation is its role in ensuring public trust in businesses and the products they sell (27 per cent), while others stated that regulation provides certainty for businesses (23 per cent), and helps UK businesses to trade in Europe and the rest of the world (22 per cent).

Only one in twenty businesses (five per cent) think that there are no advantages of government regulation of UK businesses.

‘A beacon of health and safety’

Nathan Davies, Head of Policy at RoSPA, said: “As it stands, the health and safety of Britain’s 32 million strong workforce is under threat with the way the Retained EU Law Bill proposes to deal with vital legislation – and given that almost 80 per cent of UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards, it demonstrates how woefully out of touch the Government really is.

“We want reassurance that UK will remain a beacon of health and safety, and believe every piece of health and safety legislation should be treated with the care, attention and evidence-based approach it deserves.”

RoSPA is leading a campaign to change the Government’s approach to health and safety legislation as part of the Bill.

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Michael Morrisroe
Michael Morrisroe
1 year ago

pure sensationalism. One section mentions deregulation, of which none were specifically mentioned.

speak to the Safety experts/specialist to tell you the good and bad of EU regulation not the business owners.

Daljit Sharma
Daljit Sharma
1 year ago

This government has not overcome the Brexit fever. The regulation of EU safety legislation is purely to raise the Ghost of Brexit for the upcoming elections next year. This Government cannot see further than their nose (winning the next election) at the cost of British economy. All the businesses need to remind the Government that we (British businesses) have to compete with international businesses and thus must have better if not then similar playing fields to compete. Deregulation will prompt the EU to put barriers in our paths.

Nigel Evelyn-dupree
Nigel Evelyn-dupree
1 year ago

Far from sensationalism as half of employers are yet to develop an Accessibility Strategy let alone publish an Accessibility Statement or return an Accessibility Maturity Report!?

Occupational Health and Wellbeing are significant human factors in future proofing and optimising sustainability over-time witness presenteeism and 20% lost productivity due to over-exposure to sub-optimally colour contrast calibrated DSE retrospectively debilitating user operators performance / accessibility carrying-on regardless of 2018 Accessibility Regulations covering minimum and maximum validation of websites and calibration of display screen interface resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome, myopic and asthenopic disease.

Allan Wood
Allan Wood
1 year ago

I thinly veiled attempt by the government to make it look like they actually achieved something as part of their shambolic brexit fiasco.