A coalition has been created within the occupational safety and health sector during recent months, to provide a unified front to warn the government it might not be a good idea to remove every European-related law.
The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is currently in parliament and proposes that all retained EU laws should be repealed by 31 December 2023 unless there is parliamentary time to convert them into national law. The Bill includes the requirement to review, reform or revoke several thousand pieces of legislation during 2023, many of which affect safety, health and the environment in the UK.
The coalition includes Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), British Safety Council (BSC), International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM), the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and is concerned that this time frame could result in increased harm and undermine the UK’s long-standing record as a global leader in health and safety.
Leaders have called upon the government to meet with them to discuss the impending Bill, urging them to scrap these arbitrary deadlines to allow more time for a transparent process to consider every law individually and the reason it was passed, to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable future.
EML’s Health, Safety & Wellbeing consultant Joanne Howley comments…
“Revoking the legislation is a backward move and will not remove the duties on both employers and employees imposed by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It will just cause confusion and potentially lead to a rise in accident rates, with employers thinking that they are no longer governed by legislation. Health and safety in the workplace shouldn’t just be about compliance with legislation and avoiding prosecution. A robust health and safety management system and positive safety culture is not only the right way to do business from a moral perspective, it also makes good business sense”.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states that addressing health and safety should not be seen as a regulatory burden as it can offer significant benefits including:
- reduced costs;
- reduced risks;
- lower employee absence and turnover rates;
- fewer accidents;
- reduced threat of legal action;
- improved standing among suppliers and partners;
- better reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, customers and communities;
- increased productivity as a result of employees being healthier, happier and better motivated.
Friday, 28 April is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an awareness-raising campaign aimed at creating a health and safety culture to help reduce the number of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
EML can assist in developing your organisation’s health and safety management system through our range of bespoke services including consultancy, audits and training packages. If you’re an employer and would like further information with regards to this or any other Health, Safety & Wellbeing issue, please contact us on 01942 727200 or email email@example.com and speak to one of our Health & Safety Consultants for an initial consultation without charge or obligation.