North West manufacturers are calling for the current health and safety landscape to be maintained when the UK leaves the European Union.
They want to see existing worker production and legislative requirements continuing to be transferred into UK law to avoid cost and disruption to business.
The call is made in a wide-ranging report into the UK’s health and safety landscape published today by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and health and safety experts Arco.
It says it is vital that the British Standards Institution continues to play a leading role in European standards setting so that UK firms can continue to make products in the European standards environment.
Richard Halstead, Region Director for EEF in the North, said:“There is a clear message from manufacturers that there should be no rapid change post Brexit to the UK’s health & safety regulatory regime. The Government’s current approach of grandfathering existing EU worker protection and product safety standards into UK law for the foreseeable future is the right one.
“This is essential to avoid costly disruption, the emergence of any technical barriers and the development of unnecessary multiple standards which might damage the prospects of some companies being able to operate seamlessly when the UK leaves the EU. It is also vital that BSI continues to play a leading role in setting the European standards environment, a position where the UK has substantial expertise.
Lee Pickering, Head of Heavy Manufacturing at Arco, said: “This report clearly identifies the concerns and beliefs of leaders within the sector, giving policymakers a vital insight into how manufacturing bosses believe Brexit should be rolled out. We agree that that a rapid change in regulation post Brexit isn’t the correct approach as it would cause disruption but we also believe Brexit affords us an opportunity to review and improve health & safety regulations within the UK.
“What we don’t want to see happen once we leave the EU is the Government using Brexit as a justification for complacency as there are issues within our current framework that urgently need addressing if we are to ensure the safety of UK workers.”