Thursday, December 3, 2009

Conservatives to reduce health and safety requirements and compensation claims

Very interesting speech by David Cameron as to how he will deal with health and safety regulations and also the personal injury world. Here's some extracts:

I believe consideration of all this evidence can only lead us to one conclusion: for the good of our society, we need to sort out the nonsense of this over-the-top culture of health and safety and compensation...

School activities
But I believe we should consider whether further protection should be provided in cases involving adventure training and other outdoor activity by schools....I also want the law to be quite clear that there is no obligation on activity organisers or public authorities to warn of an obvious risk. It is time that we rid our country of those ludicrous warning notices stating the completely obvious...

Good Samaritans
We have said we will amend the police and Crown Prosecution Service Codes of Practice so that if a person acts in good faith to prevent a crime or detain a criminal, this would be a factor weighing against any decision to prosecute them. I want to see if we can extend this sort of legal protection for all people acting in good faith – especially public service professionals...

Small, local and voluntary groups
Second, can we help alleviate some of health and safety oversight that currently burdens small, local and voluntary organisations? To my mind, there is good reason for this. If, for instance, four or five people come together to clean their local park, they do not as a group fall under health and safety law at all. But they may do if the work benefits the local council running the park, as it then becomes their employer...I have asked David Young to investigate what could be done to exempt them from regulatory burdens...

Civil Liability Act
Third, do we need a Civil Liability Act? By that, I mean do we need to define civil liability for negligence in statute? At the moment there is no one single Act of Parliament that ties all this work together, showing where the liability for negligence lies. So I have asked [Lord] Young whether such an Act would be necessary and effective in reducing our excessive health and safety culture...

Conclusion
And what I have described today is the beginnings of putting it right. For every piece of health and safety legislation, we need to ask whether it fulfils a useful purpose – and if not, it must go. And we must bring some common sense to the laws surrounding compensation. I want people to know that with the Conservatives, government will let you get on with your life without unnecessary rules and regulations. I want everyone to know that with the Conservatives, if you do good, get involved and make a contribution, the system will back you. And I want people to know that with the Conservatives, the legal system will be there protecting those who need it most.

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