Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

David Cameron accused of recycling health and safety myths

David Cameron was accused yesterday of retelling myths about health and safety legislation after claiming that Labour had allowed a blanket of fear to spread across the country.

In a speech aimed squarely at the Conservative grassroots, Mr Cameron said that while there was often a “noble” intention behind rules, Labour had an over-the-top culture of health and safety.

The Tory leader appointed Margaret Thatchers former Trade Secretary, Lord Young of Graffham, to conduct a review of the Health and Safety Executive. The peer has called on ministers to enlighten or abolish much of the health and safety legislation.

Mr Cameron said: “Something has gone seriously wrong with the spirit of health and safety in the past decade. When children are made to wear goggles by their head teacher to play conkers. When trainee hairdressers are not allowed scissors in the classroom. When office workers are banned from moving a chair without supervision. When staff at a railway station don’t help a young mum carry her baby buggy because they are not insured. When village fetes are cancelled because residents can’t face jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops.

What began as a noble intention to protect people from harm has mutated into a stultifying blanket of bureaucracy, suspicion and fear covering the actions of millions of individuals as they go about their daily lives.

The body representing health and safety professionals said that Mr Cameron was in danger of muddling myths, generalisations and fact.

Ruth Doyle, of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, denied that legislation was the problem. She blamed widespread misunderstanding of the rules.

She said: David Cameron is retelling some of the myths in order to highlight the issue. The politicians should query them if we are to tackle the issue.

There had been only one case, five years ago, of a teacher at a primary school asking children to wear goggles while playing conkers, she claimed.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said that the Health and Safety Executive wanted to help to ensure that businesses could comply with regulations in a way that was sensible and proportionate.

Health and safety is not just about rules and regulations, it is about the reduction of accidents and injuries in the workplace, he said.

Original Article: The Times