Zurich MD applauds pragmatism of Lord Young’s health and safety report
Earlier this week, Lord Young gave his first major speech since the publication of the peer's Common Sense, Common Safety report.
Lord Young attended an event organised by Cardinus Risk Management and the International Institute for Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) where he spoke to an invited audience of insurance, legal and health and safety professionals.
At the event in London, Lord Young emphasised the need for legislation that is proportionate to the level of risk. 'Nothing in my report affects health and safety in hazardous occupations. It ain't broke,' he said. 'Accidents and fatalities in the workplace are steadily declining. Yet despite the facts, health and safety was becoming a joke. So the essence of my report is simple: reduce the bureaucracy for low hazardous occupations and eliminate, as far as we can, the stories that delight newspaper readers at breakfast.'
In response David Smith managing director at Zurich's broker division said: 'Although we agreed the system needed reform, we were worried about how he would succeed where others before him had failed. Now we have seen his report, we think it can work.'
Commenting on Lord Young's speech that he favoured quick and simple online risk solutions, Mr Smith said: 'Risk assessment doesn't have to be bureaucratic. And it is an excellent tool for insurers in defending civil liability claims. But we're not interested in just check box exercises, we still need a practical assessment of the risk.'
Jon Abbott, managing director – ergonomics and safety at Cardinus, said: 'Lord Young advocates a professional standard for health and safety consultants. This will go a long way to preventing unqualified, inexperienced consultants from scare-mongering in an effort to sell more products and services. Cardinus, the IIRSM and many other organisations have been campaigning for professional standards for some time.'