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Health and safety 'used as an excuse'

Too many people use health and safety as an excuse to hide behind, the chair of the Health and Safety Executive has warned.

In a letter to Lord Young welcoming his review of health and safety legislation, Judith Hackitt wrote: “We in HSE have been saying for some time that health and safety is being used by too many as a convenient excuse to hide behind. We welcome your review and stand ready to make available to you whatever information or insight we can.”

Conservative peer Lord Young of Graffham was appointed by the Prime Minister earlier this week to lead a government-wide review into health and safety laws and the growth of the “compensation culture”.

Lord Young, who served as cabinet minister David Young during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, said he wanted to “reintroduce an element of common sense” and “focus the regulation” where it is most needed. He is expected to report back in the summer.