The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has published its third Simplification Plan, which explains the progress being made towards achieving a 25 per cent reduction (from a 2005 baseline) in the administrative burden of complying with health and safety legislation.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE's chair, comments: "Helping businesses understand their responsibilities is key to improving health and safety for everyone. The initiatives in this Plan play an important role in this, promoting a sensible, proportionate and risk-based approach which enables organisations to conduct their activities efficiently and safely.”
Not all of the measures in the Simplification Plan are relevant to organisations in the manufacturing sector, though there are some that are worth highlighting. For example, the 'Sensible Risk Management' initiative aims to address risk assessment costs in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1989 (rather than machinery safety risk assessments). The HSE's new Simplification Plan states that the target saving of £200million has been partially achieved, though further evaluation needs to be carried out in 2009.
Another £33million of savings is to be achieved by means of new guidance to clarify the examination of equipment relating to the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLOER). This initiative has been completed and an evaluation is to be carried out in 2009.
New initiatives identified in 2008 include one to clarify requirements on providing health and safety information to safety representatives (with a target saving of up to £36.6million) and another to develop an electronic risk assessment template. Although the target savings have not yet been quantified, the initiative is due to be delivered by April 2009.
Taken together, the initiatives that are either completed or ongoing should deliver the target savings of 25 per cent, provided they prove successful. Nevertheless, the third Simplification Plan states that the HSE will continue to develop its simplification initiatives, including focusing efforts on communicating these to businesses; one of the activities planned for 2009 is to revise pages on the HSE's website to provide accessible, simple guidance.
To download a copy of the third Simplification Plan go to the HSE's website (209kB PDF).
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This is a news item from Pilz Automation Technology in the UK. All the standards and directives described refer to the UK and may vary elsewhere.