Stakeholder simplification proposals
HSE welcomes simplification proposals from stakeholders, and although it may not be possible to accept all proposals, they are given serious consideration.
Stakeholders have the opportunity to submit proposals through various tools, for example, using HSE stakeholder groups, directly to HSE officials, or via BRE’s simplification proposal website.
Since publishing the 2008 Plan, HSE has received three simplification proposals:
- a proposal addressing legislation overlap, where businesses could face enforcement action by two different organisations on the same issue. The proposer asked for more communication and cooperation between authorities. HSE was unable to take this forward as the issue was in relation to fire safety and the two authorities involved HSE and Local Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) have differing areas of responsibility. HSE’s response explained that the concern for HSE was fire precautions in respect of the work process. Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) is already addressing other more general concerns raised regarding legislation overlap. Further information was supplied, to the proposer, on two initiatives currently underway by LBRO, aimed at finding new ways of reducing inspection burdens on business. Contact details were provided.
- consideration should be given to introducing fines for employees on health and safety offences in the same way that fines are issued to employees for underage sales offences. HSE was able to advise that the law does allow the prosecution of individual employees who do something which creates a risk to themselves and/or to others and HSE’s policy is to fully consider individual circumstances.
- one proposal concerned a misunderstanding of the requirements for electrical safety checks and was not taken forward.
In July, the Institute of Directors (IoD) submitted a dossier of 269 simplification proposals to government, thirteen of these proposals related to health and safety and the health and safety system. HSE contributed to a coordinated response led by the Better Regulation Executive (BRE).
Of the thirteen proposals for HSE, most reflected general concerns about health and safety regulation as a whole, rather than specific simplification proposals to change existing health and safety legislation for which HSE has responsibility. Out of the remaining proposals:
- four of the proposals were misunderstandings of the regulations. In each case the regulations were explained and advice on where to find more information was provided where appropriate;
- a further four proposals were in relation to controlling risks, considering risks in relation to different workplaces and having a sensible risk approach. HSE’s response referred to the work undertaken to produce over 30 example risk assessments, which have been developed with stakeholders and show what is required from a risk assessment, providing advice on finding out more; and
- three more proposals questioned the amount of legislation in existence and the need for more, expressing concern at the amount of resource needed to comply. HSE is already addressing this issue with its commitment to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens on business.