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Health and safety partly responsible for riots says Cameron

Health and safety partly responsible for riots says Cameron

The Prime Minister has said that rioters felt able to act without common sense because of health and safety and other reasons.

Speaking at a youth centre today, David Cameron said that the government is going to review its work in root causes including schools, welfare, families and health and safety.He announced a reivew of the 'health and safety culture'. It is not clear if the PM meant that the police were prevented from intervention and protection of the Fire Services because of health and safety legislation, or that people 'trot out' health and safety as a lazy excuse to justify their actions, as he has previously said.

The Government is now calling for 'big and bold change'.

To read more about this subject in Safety and Health Practitioner, click here.

It is not yet known how this will be interpreted by Professor Ragnar Lofsted who is currently conducting a review for the government into current Health and Safety. His terms of reference include condsideration of the following issues:

  • the scope for consolidating, simplifying or abolishing regulations
  • whether the requirements of EU Directives are being unnecessarily enhanced (‘gold-plated’) on translation into UK law;
  • if lessons can be learned from comparison with health and safety regimes in other countries;
  • whether there is a clear link between regulation and positive health and safety outcomes;
  • if there is evidence of inappropriate litigation and compensation arising from health and safety legislation; andwhether changes to legislation are needed to clarify the legal position of employers in cases where employees act in an irresponsible manner. 

It is unclear whether or not a complete break down in law and order is currently within the remit of the Lofsted review. If the terms of reference are to be extended, it is unlikely that the findings will be released by September as promised by Employment Minister Chris Grayling.

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