On 24th March 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published its final progress report on Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone, the health and safety reforms introduced by the DWP in March 2011. The reforms were comprised of three main initiatives:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register: This provided businesses with a free, easily accessible method of finding approved, properly accredited health and safety consultants.
- The New Health and Safety Framework:
- Major Hazard Industries: The government deemed its regulation of major hazardous industries such as the chemical and offshore oil sectors as ‘soundly based and in accordance with best international practice’ in 2011. It therefore did not increase oversight of these sectors. Instead, the government focused on enforcement action, detailing strong industry relationships and thorough HSE inspections in its Focus on Enforcement Review campaign.
- Non-major Hazard Industries: The HSE’s Estates Excellence Programme helped provide free advice and training to SMEs in non-major hazard industries since 2009. The HSE continued to help improve health and safety in non-major hazard industries by instituting its Fee for Intervention scheme and outlining risk-based assessments for local authority regulators to ensure that local regulation is nationally consistent.
- Making Health and Safety Simpler: The Web-based programmes, ‘Health and Safety Made Simple’ (March 2011) and the ‘Health and Safety Toolbox’ (November 2012) provided businesses with straightforward guidance to better identify, assess and control common workplace risks.
The comprehensive success of the Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone reforms is a reflection of the HSE’s dedication to bettering the health and safety of the United Kingdom.