A briefing released by Thompson’s Solicitors reveals the potential implications of the amendment to Section 47 of the Health and Safety Work Act 1974, which has been added to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill at the eleventh hour.
The amendment would mean:
– Employers would no longer have a strict liability for the health and safety of their workers, for the first time since 1898.
– Workers could not rely on an employer’s breach of health and safety law to win a personal injury claim, they would have to provide proof of negligence.
– Enforcement of health and safety law would be increasingly left up to a significantly weakened and less effective Health and Safety Executive.
– Employers could increasingly hide behind the defence that complying to health and safety regulations was not “reasonably practicable”.
This is part of a wider ideological move by the government in the interests of employers, to the detriment of workers.