• Status holding scales to symbolise law
    News, Updates & Events

    ACOP’s Update

    In line with the Lofstedt review, HSE are considering chopping or modifying a whole load of approved codes of practice (ACOPs). ACOPs hold a special place in UK Law. In short, they both explain what the law intended to say and also translate complicated legal speak into tangible examples of what it would look like in practice. This is supposed to give confidence to employers that they are doing enough. But, ACoPs can be used in evidence in criminal cases. As a result, they are not flights of fancy into what they might like to see but rather somewhat clipped pronouncements. HSE is striving to be more and more realistic…

  • Reform in wooden block letters
    Health & Safety

    Playing to the Gallery?

    Playing to the Gallery? Is it me, or are the radical reforms to health and safety proving to be all smoke and mirrors? Way back in June 2010, when the coalition was newly formed, David Cameron appointed Lord Young of Graffham to conduct a review of health and safety law and practice. The Young report was published later that year. It was wide-ranging, though whether it was fully comprehensive and evidence-based is a matter of opinion. Lord Young was very clear in focusing his attention on the issue of the compensation culture, stating that fear of litigation (and the associated costs) was a major driver in many risk-averse decisions taken…

  • Man writing in a book in classroom
    Health & Safety

    Lofstedt 7 – Keep it Simple

    In Chapter 7, Loftstedt really gets going. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, a real problem for many businesses is keeping up with the ever increasing amount and apparent complexity of legislation. It’s sometimes not what it says, but more finding out it exists and where to find it. There have been many calls for consolidation but there are numerous options – everything together vs reduced number of thematic regulations and everything in between. I recognise that consolidation can sometimes end up making things even more tortuous, with nested conditional ‘if….then’ clauses. Lofstedt helpfully distinguishes three broad categories of regulations which sit under the health and safety at work Act.…

  • Man writing in a book in classroom
    Health & Safety

    Lofstedt 6 – The EU

    Chapter 6 of the Lofstedt report is all about better engagement with the EU. In view of the UK’s latest brushes with EU leaders over the common currency and financial regulation, this may not work. I know technically the UK has quite a say in the running of the EU. But in reality, its workings rely on co-operation and compromise. Much of UK legislation originates from the EU. This is true of every member state too. That means that there is not that much room for the UK unilaterally modifying it. Yes, there is often some scope (more so with directives), but not much in terms of substance. It is…