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Unclear H & S

30 November 2011

St John Ambulance has responded to the recommendations of the Lofsted review – the independent review of health and safety legislation.

Richard Evens, commercial training director, St John Ambulance said: “The proposals aim to ease some of the administrative burden often faced by businesses. But we are worried that there will now be a period of uncertainty where previously there was at least clarity. In the meantime, employers should avoid interpreting this announcement as a reason to lose focus on workplace safety. It’s vital that all employers make the necessary efforts to ensure their health and safety provision is up-to-scratch, and this is particularly important for SMEs, for which the loss of even a single key employee can be especially serious.”

“Every year in the UK up to 150,000 people lose their lives when first aid could have given them the chance to live, yet we have one of the lowest levels of training in Europe. Similarly, deaths in the workplace increased last year after a record-low the previous year. While it makes sense to put responsibility back in the hands of employees, the only sensible way to do this is to equip them with the skills and knowledge to act in an emergency situation. We need to ensure that proposals do not reduce the number of people trained, the quality of their training or the depth of their knowledge to avoid making these figures worse rather than better.”

“First aid is the most important aspect of secondary safety and we need to ensure that more people have the full range of skills and confidence to make the difference between a life lost and a life saved. If not, the reduction in bureaucracy could lead to an increase in deaths.”

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