The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched a 3 month Consultation into plans that would exempt self-employed people from Health and Safety Law.
The Consultation comes after the Lofstedt Review that proposed certain exemptions as a way of cutting what the Government deems to be unnecessary red-tape. This is something that David Cameron has sought to do for some time since gaining power at the last Election.
At present, the self-employed have duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure themselves and others are not exposed to harm. However, there are industries which are notoriously more dangerous than others who will not be eligible for any exemption from Health and Safety Regulations even if they are self-employed. For example, agriculture and construction are two of the industries where fatalities were highest in the last year and there would be no exemptions in those fields due to that.
The Consultation will conclude at the end of October and the HSE are looking to hear from people who can do so using their website. At the end of the process, the HSE will make a recommendation to the Ministers on how this matter should be progressed.
Since coming in to power, David Cameron has vowed to cutback red-tape in Health and Safety Law. If these proposals go through as expected, then there is a concern that the Coalition Government will continue to chip away at Health and Safety Law to the detriment of workers in a Country that is not seeing a decline in such accidents let alone fatalities at work.