“Lord help us” – Tory peer to review health and safety legislation

In a move aimed at targeting the so-called ‘compensation culture’, the new government has already got health and safety legislation firmly in its sights. 

David Cameron has today announced the appointment of the Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham as Adviser to the Prime Minister on health and safety law and practice. Lord Young will undertake a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture.

He is expected to report to the Prime Minister in the summer and will investigate concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade.

Commenting on the review the PM said:

“I’m very pleased that Lord Young has agreed to lead this important review. The rise of the compensation culture over the last ten years is a real concern, as is the way health and safety rules are sometimes applied.”

Commenting on his new role, Lord Young said:

“Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services.”

As urban myths go, the rise of the compensation culture takes some beating – and now it has received government approval! As personal injury solicitors we see no evidence at all to suggest that the overall number of compensation claims has increased during the last decade. In fact all the evidence points towards the opposite conclusion. 

Lord Young would do well to heed a statement released today by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive said:

“Let’s not forget that accidents are the principal cause of death among under-35s and that the number of people dying in accidents is going up – the figure currently stands at around 13,500 accidental deaths each year in the UK. There is no room for complacency.”


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