Re: [SystemSafety] Proposed changes to the UK Health and Safety at WorkAct

From: Inge, James Mr < >
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 12:17:36 -0000

As far as I can make out, the current wording means that by default, a breach of health and safety regulations that causes damage may be actionable in a civil court, unless the regulations say otherwise. If the new amendment goes ahead, it would reverse the situation, so that breaches would not be actionable in a civil court by default. However, it provides that new regulations could be made to permit civil action within a certain scope.  

The impact of the amendment would depend on what goes into those new regulations, if and when they are made. It's worth noting that the proposed amendment itself would not necessarily take effect when the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was passed (or indeed, at all). It would have to be brought into force separately by means of a commencement order.  

The amendment doesn't seem to change criminal liability for health & safety issues. My (non-professional!) interpretation is that it would not affect the protection of workers from being harmed, but in the event of harm, it might make it less likely that employees could claim damages. I didn't spot anything that deals with what defence the employer might make against the claim, but it says that allowed defences could be specified in the regulations.  

The current text of Section 47 is available at

The latest progress of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is at m.html, including a link to the latest version of the Bill. The version I looked at was dated 19 Oct 2012, with the relevant Health & Safety bit at Section 61.  



From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Martin Lloyd
Sent: 13 January 2013 11:43
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: [SystemSafety] Proposed changes to the UK Health and Safety at WorkAct  

Dear Colleagues

I would like to draw your attention to the following:

  1. The UK government is proposing to change the Health and Safety at Work Act.
  2. The proposed change is summarised below from the following (rather under-supported) petition at which includes the wording:

The amendment to Section 47 of the Health and Safety Work Act 1974, has been added to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill at the eleventh hour. The amendment would mean that:

Kind regards
Martin Lloyd
Dr M H Lloyd CEng FIET
Tel: +44(0)118 941 2728
Mobile: +44(0)786 697 6840

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Received on Mon Jan 14 2013 - 13:17:53 CET

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