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Health & Safety Legislation Post-Brexit

Impact of Brexit on UK Health

There has been much talk about the impact of Brexit on UK Health, Safety & Environmental legislation. The think tank ‘Open Europe’ for instance calculated that two-thirds of OSH-related regulations introduced between 1997 and 2009 originated in the EU.

As an HSE professional for a number of years I’ve had the opportunity to work with both UK-driven and EU-driven legislation and I have experienced good and bad i.e. legislation that can make a real difference, and legislation that in my opinion creates bureaucracy and delivers no real HSE benefit.

I’m not a political expert and clearly Brexit has created many unanswered questions, but I really hope that a benefit of Brexit is that it gives us the choice on the legislation that we adopt. The key here is going to be that the people who make these choices for us can differentiate between ‘value-adding’ legislation that makes a real difference to people and the environment, compared with legislation that doesn’t achieve this, but in my opinion can actually increase risk and certainly cost.

Health & Safety can certainly sometimes be seen in a negative light but when good legislation is applied effectively by HSE practitioners then I believe there can only be benefits to people and business. Hopefully Brexit will create this opportunity.

by Philip Slingsby

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