Plans to slash safety red tape

Health and safety inspections are to be cut by a third in a bid to cut costs for low-risk businesses.

As part of a raft of rule changes to be announced by employment minister Chris Grayling today, the government will instruct inspectors to concentrate their efforts on high risk locations, like major energy facilities, and employers with poor health and safety records.

The government has also promised a comprehensive review of health and safety laws, with a view to cutting out unnecessary red tape.

Meanwhile, a new register of qualified consultants will be brought in to cut out untrained “cowboys”, along with a new online scheme to help small, low risk employers.

Grayling will say: “Of course it is right to protect employees in the workplace, but Britain’s health and safety culture is also stifling business and holding back economic growth... These measures will help root out the needless burden of bureaucracy.”

British Chamber of Commerce Director General David Frost said: “Simplifying and codifying health and safety laws will help employers spend less time on tick box exercises, and more time focusing on growing their businesses.”