The government has suggested that a new panel will help to put “common sense” back into health & safety. The Myth Busters Challenge panel chaired by the head of the HSE will be asked to look into complaints on advice given by non-regulators.
The committee would then look to provide guidance on whether the advice really was in keeping with what health & safety law requires. The panel has only been given an advisory role but hopes are that their findings will encourage bad decisions to be reversed.
The government has stressed that it sees “common sense” to be the key to successful health & safety. At MESH we wholeheartedly agree that health & safety needs to be based upon sensible decisions; and THAT over regulation really does need to be challenged.
All too often non-sensible decisions are made by people who fail to properly understand the reality of a situation; often because of a lack of experience or because they are afraid of being sued. The type of decisions the committee will review will in reality most likely come from those made by local councils; schools and other similar bodies.
It seems unlikely that the committee will judge on individual consultancy advice; which leaves employers in the same position that they will need to make careful checks before employing credible consultants.