Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Supposi-Tory waffle

David Cameron has asked Lord Young, the Tory peer, to review "over-the-top health and safety laws" and scrap any legislation which does not fulfil a useful purpose.

The man claims that the European Union and Labour were "partly to blame" because of the volume of legislation they had created. But, he said, the biggest problem related to the way laws were interpreted. He complained about the "perception we have allowed to develop that in Britain today behind every accident there is someone who is personally culpable, someone who must pay."

Thus does he avoid the "elephant in the room". Health and safety at work is, of course, an exclusive EU competence. Thus, the EU is responsible for European directives concerning the protection of workers, of which this is a list:

1.1 Framework directive
1.2 Individual directives (within the meaning of Article 16 of Directive 89/391/EEC)
1.2.01 Workplaces
1.2.02 Use of work equipment
1.2.03 Use of personal protective equipment
1.2.04 Work with display screen equipment
1.2.05 Manual handling
1.2.06 Carcinogens
1.2.07 Biological agents
1.2.08 Safety signs
1.2.09 Pregnant workers
1.2.10 Mineral-extracting industries (drilling)
1.2.11 Mineral-extracting industries
1.2.12 Fishing vessels
1.2.13 Chemical agents
1.2.16 Temporary or mobile construction sites
1.2.14 Physical agents - vibration
1.2.15 Physical agents - noise
1.3 Temporary workers
1.4 Medical treatment on board vessels
1.5 Young people
1.7 Transport activities
1.8 Explosive atmospheres
1.9 Electrical equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres in mines susceptible to firedamp
1.10 Commission Communication on the practical implementation of the Framework Directive and first 5 daughter Directives, 05.02.2004
2. Protection of workers from risks related to exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents
2.1 Chemical agents
2.2 Individual directives
2.2.1 Metallic Lead
2.2.2 Asbestos
2.2.3 Noise
2.2.4 Banning
2.2.5 Indicative limit values
2.3 Vinyl chloride monomer
3. Working time
3.1 Working time
4. Equal treatment for men and women (employment, training and working conditions)
B. Internal market: approximation of laws
1. Machines, products and apparatus
1.1 CE marking 93/68
1.2 Machines
1.3 Lifts
1.4 Personal protective equipment
1.5 Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX)
1.6 Pressure vessels
1.7 Gas cylinders
1.8 Aerosol dispensers
1.9 Simple pressure vessels
1.10 Pressure equipment
1.11 Construction plant and equipment
1.11.1 General provisions
1.11.2 Noise emission of construction plant and equipment Sound power level of welding generators Sound power level of compressors Sound power level of power generators Sound power level of powered hand-held concrete-breakers and picks Sound power level of tower cranes Sound power level of lawnmowers
1.12 Limitation of noise emitted by hydraulic excavators, rope-operated excavators, dozers, loaders and excavator-loaders
1.13 Construction products
1.14 Product safety
1.15 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
1.16 Electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits
1.17 Appliances burning gaseous fuels
2. Dangerous substances and preparations
2.1 Framework directive
C. European directives concerning the protection of workers, consumers and population
1 Classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances
1.1 Framework directive
2 Classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations
3 Safety data sheet
4 Risk assessment of substances
4.1 Risk assessment of existing substances
4.2 Risk assessment of new substances
5 Liability for defective products
6 General Product Safety
7 Major hazards of certain industrial activities
8 Transport of dangerous goods by road
8.1 Transport of dangerous goods by road
8.2 Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road
8.3 Safety adviser for the transport of dangerous goods
9 Transport of dangerous goods by rail
10 Biotechnology
10.1 Genetically modified micro-organisms
11 Pesticides
11.1 Pesticides – Agriculture
D. Euratom
1 Ionising radiation

Those are just the Directives. That does not include the seven-page list of regulations, and the thousands of EU standards. The betting is that the Boy plans to scrap none of these. This is the usual supposi-Tory waffle - sound-bites to sound good, but no substance.