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Health and safety inspections for smaller shops to be cut by a third

The government has announced plans to cut unnecessary health and safety inspections of low-risk shops and offices by a third.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Health and safety inspections for smaller shops to be cut by a third

The changes, announced by Employment Minister Chris Grayling, will enable council inspections to concentrate on higher risk companies and could see as many as 65,000 fewer inspections of well-run premises each year according to the Health and Safety Executive.

The HSE said that ministers were concerned that councils have been burdened with having to carry out proactive inspections in low-risk shops and offices when their time would be better spent targeting rogue employers who flout the law and put workers and the public at risk.

The new guidance for councils in England makes clear that firms with a good safety record of managing hazards well should not face routine inspections.
 
Under the agreement, proactive inspections will be reduced and councils will place greater emphasis on dealing with complaints, investigating incidents and providing advice and support to businesses in managing workplace risks.

Chris Grayling said: “This is another step on our journey to restore common sense to health and safety. Clearly we must ensure that people are properly protected at work, but health and safety culture is stifling business and holding back economic growth. These reforms will ensure that shops and offices are protected without the burden of unnecessary bureaucracy."

He added: “Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world. Councils in England will now play a crucial role in cutting red tape and helping to make Britain one of the best places in the world to do business.”

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