The year 1 review of progress from the Löfstedt review was published this week. Professor Löfstedt rightly praised the HSE for its progress on implementing his recommendations for health and safety reform - HSE has been working flat out with limited resources and substantial change. He said HSE “should be commended for meeting the targets on time, especially at a time of austerity and severe budget cuts”.
The report is predictably congratulatory about what the Government has done but it does helpfully point out that the government is going further than he proposed on regulatory provisions that impose strict liability. Government plans to amend the Health and Safety at Work Act would prevent civil liability attaching to breaches of health and safety regulations that impose a strict duty (without the defence of reasonable practicability) and it is argued this would take access to compensation back to the Victorian era.
Professor Löfstedt said the approach being taken “is more far-reaching” than he anticipated and he urged the government to monitor the impact to ensure “there are no unforeseen consequences” if the amendment becomes law.
Professor Löfstedt's full report can be found at:
The Government response is at: