A national agency for health and safety inspectors will reduce confusion, say Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has called for a unified health and safety inspection agency.

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Currently, one group of health and safety inspectors comes from the Health and Safety Executive and the others come from local authorities.

Ray Hurst, president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) said the division has led to differences in enforcement and public perceptions of inspectors.

He said: “Our vision is a national agency which will lead the regional offices and develop national plans and priorities. This will mean that businesses are not subject to the varying demands and views from a range of local inspectors across the country.

“Consistency of enforcement is paramount if health and safety is to be demystified and regain a more positive image. Currently local authorities can have competing demands made on their resources – a national enforcement agency will help overcome this and also ensure organisations are clearer about the health and safety enforcement system.”

In response to the Better Regulation Executive consultation ‘Improving outcomes from health and safety’, IOSH said funding for local authority health and safety enforcement and staff should be transferred to regional HSE headquarters.