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Proposed exemptions send wrong message on workplace health and safety

Posted in: Industrial Deafness and Disease Workplace Injuries 

A professional body has criticised proposals to exempt self-employed workers from health and safety laws and to scale down the number of workplace accidents that employers should report.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has submitted evidence to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), urging the regulator to retain current requirements on the self-employed and improve the reporting system for work-related accidents.

IOSH fears the exemption of certain workers from health and safety regulations will cause confusion.

The chartered membership body has advocated more government support for business and the development of a more ‘risk intelligent’ society, through improved education and promotion of the business case for good health and safety.

IOSH has also submitted a response to the HSE on proposals to revise RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). The HSE is proposing to remove reporting requirements for a range of work-related health and safety issues. These include most occupational diseases, certain major injuries, such as dislocations and temporary blindness, and the reporting by self-employed people of injuries or illness to themselves.

Head of policy and public affairs Richard Jones said:

“IOSH is extremely worried that the changes will mean certain major injuries, including dislocations and temporary blindness and serious diseases, including occupational asthma and cancer, would no longer be reportable. This gives out entirely the wrong message, and is a retrograde step.”


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