Self-employed persons could be exempt from safety laws

A public consultation has been launched into proposals which would see certain self-employed people exempt from health and safety laws.

The Health and Safety Executive is seeking views from the self-employed on whether they favour plans to exempt them from Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, unless they are carrying out one of the tasks detailed on a prescribed list.

The HSE’s Sarah Wadham said the regulator was “keen” to hear from self-employed people.

“Health and safety laws will still apply to them and we need to ensure that legal definitions are clear and easy for them to understand,” she explained.

Prescribing a safe list

A clause in the tabled proposals states that each self-employed person is responsible for ensuring they work in a way which does not expose others to safety risks.

Compliance with this rule would, however, remain mandatory for those performing prescribed activities carrying high rates of injuries and/or fatalities.

Ms Wadham added: “We want to provide clear health and safety guidance to all self-employed workers in an accessible way. Feedback from this consultation will be invaluable in helping us do this.”

The tabled amendments follow on from the Lofstedt Review of health and safety regulations published in November 2011.

The online consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on August 31st.

What to do next?

Make your voice heard by visiting the HSE’s website.

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