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Health and Safety Consultation on Regulations for Self-Employed

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have opened a three-month consultation on possible changes in Health and Safety regulations for self-employed people.

Following publication of the Lofstedt report, which aims to put “common sense back” into the application of health and safety regulations, the HSE have been considering ways to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens. The current proposal is to provide an exemption to health and safety law for self-employed people whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others.

It is important to note that this exemption will not extend to those self-employed who work in high-risk environments, such as construction or onboard vessels, where other mays be exposed to harm by their work activities.

It will be interesting to see the views that come from the consultation. Although the aim of freeing small business from endless form filling and paperwork is potentially appealing in principle, how will this be balanced against the ultimate objective of keeping people safe at work?

The consultation will close on the 28th October 2012 and the HSE will make recommendations to Ministers based on its results.

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