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Health and safety guidelines and regulations reconsidered

Health and safety guidelines and regulations reconsidered
23/11/2011

Health and safety guidelines on how construction workers use ladders and scaffold tower are among rules facing analysis on a new Government website designed to tackle ‘red tape’. The Government’s Red Tape Challenge portal has published countless regulations affecting businesses, charities and the general public. And members of the public are invited to comment on unnecessary rules and explain why they should be scrapped or reformed. The website says the Government is determined to cut red tape. It states: “Good regulation is a good thing. It protects consumers, employees and the environment, it helps build a more fair society and can even save lives. “But over the years, regulations – and the inspections and bureaucracy that go with them – have piled up and up. “If we want to reverse this trend and encourage greater responsibility in our society, then we have got to trust people and give them more freedom to do the right thing. So this Government has set a clear aim: to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation.” Rowland Hogg, who runs a small construction company, highlighted health and safety guidance on the use of steps for reform. He wrote: “Since the use of steps and ladders work time has been reduced, main contractors have banned their use on sites. I would recommend reconsidering the time allowed to work on steps be increased to a working day. Keep a working height restriction of say four metres; anything above that will need a scaffold tower.” He added: “It is expensive, in a year of national austerity, to work on scaffold towers and podiums, as opposed to using steps which are quite safe if used properly. We’ve used steps for 25 years without major incident.” But others commented on why the public were being asked to police rules and regulations when civil servants and politicians are paid to run the country. Roseanna Grayston wrote: “If you would like me to reform British regulation law, could I please have £65,738 a year to do it? “If not, would politicians kindly do their jobs and desist with the insulting notion that the best response to a loss of public confidence in politicians is to cease to come up with any ideas of their own? We want you to be better, not absent.”

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