Bruce Gutteridge, of ETD Training

Member Article

New rules risk health and safety of workers

Businesses and staff could be put at risk when new health and safety regulations are introduced next year, according to a Shropshire provider of training in the sector.

From April 2013, new rules are being introduced which will exempt hundreds of thousands of businesses from regular health and safety inspections.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced this week that the move was aimed at reducing red-tape for small businesses which claims unnecessary bureaucracy is stifling growth.

But Bruce Gutteridge, of Clun-based ETD Training, said that of the 3,000 or so regulations which the Government is looking to abolish as part of the changes, only around 200 involve health and safety.

Mr Gutteridge said: “The Government is saying that health and safety is an unnecessary burden on businesses. We appreciate that businesses are finding budgets tight and that extensive paperwork to comply with Government regulations can often suffocate business growth.

“But for companies which do not ensure effective health and safety procedures are in place, there could be a much bigger burden. We see at first hand how businesses which fail to ensure the health and safety of their employees are putting themselves and their workforce at risk.”

The new rules will exempt enterprises which are considered low risk, such as shops, pubs and office-based businesses, from health and safety inspections.

Mr Gutteridge, who is ETD’s head of business development, said: “For a business which employs five people, one person off through injury because they hurt their back lifting a beer keg, or who fell off a ladder restocking the top shelf or who suffered repetitive strain injury from tapping away at a keyboard, could see their workforce slashed by 20 per cent in one go. Now that’s a burden for small businesses.

“Health and safety is not an albatross around the neck of business. It is protection for companies and their staff. It reduces insurance costs for businesses, improves the health and well being of employees, improves business productivity and ultimately can save lives.”

Employers will still be required by law to provide suitable health and safety information for their staff. For further information visit www.etdtraining.com or email info@etdtraining.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Be Bold Public Relations .

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