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Government pledges crackdown on ‘health and safety culture’

The Government has vowed to remove ‘pointless’ and ‘time-wasting’ health and safety legislation during the course of 2012, which it says has led to a culture of fear amongst businesses.

Under the plans, which seek to reduce the quantity of rules and make enforcement more ‘reasonable’, self-employed people will no longer need to comply with some areas of health and safety regulation, and the laws governing personal injury claims will be tightened.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, ‘It’s a year when the government’s going to roll up its sleeves and ask, ‘what can we do to help business, to help consumers, to help our economy get moving and to help our economy provide jobs for young people?’’

‘This coalition has a clear new year’s resolution: to kill off the health and safety culture for good,’ he added.

However, the TUC has rejected the claim that UK businesses are in a ‘stranglehold’ of health and safety red tape, arguing that each year two million workers are the victims of an illness or injury relating to their work, the majority of which could have been prevented by adhering to the appropriate safety precautions.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said, ‘Every government report on the UK’s supposed compensation culture has shown it to be a myth, and in fact claims have been declining over the past decade’.