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Health and safety review ‘should focus on tackling red tape’


A leading business group is calling for a forthcoming review to focus on removing the ‘excessive bureaucracy’ surrounding health and safety legislation.


The Forum of Private Business (FPB) claims that the current health and safety laws are ‘stifling’ small firms and ‘threatening economic growth’.


Earlier this month the Conservative Peer, Lord Young, announced a review of health and safety legislation in an effort to curb the UK ’s ‘nanny state’ culture.


The review, which has reportedly been commissioned at David Cameron’s request, will examine a range of issues, including local councils that mistakenly ban events and activities on health and safety grounds.


While many business owners have welcomed the move, the FPB said that others have criticised the review for appearing to focus on specific incidents of ‘health and safety gone mad’.


In a recent FPB survey, 59% of respondents said they were confident that such a review will be beneficial, while almost one in five said they did not expect it to have a positive impact.


‘We welcome any commitment to remove the barriers created by excessive health and safety laws, many of which appear to have little practical purpose and seem to be directed at large companies but tie up small firms in the process,’ said the FPB’s Research Manager, Tom Parry.


‘But many of details of where the Government will focus its efforts have yet to be fully outlined. Having seen similar initiatives in the past, some small businesses we represent are understandably sceptical.’