He says he wants to address “the fear from businesses of being sued for trivial or excessive claims”.

The Government is now planning to change the law on strict liability so that businesses will no longer be automatically at fault if something goes wrong.

It will also investigate the demands made by insurance companies which may force businesses to go far beyond what is required by law to secure insurance cover.

Mr Cameron made the announcement in a speech to small businesses and entrepreneurs. He said he wanted to free them from the
stranglehold of red tape.

He then said: “And there is something else we are doing: waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses.

“Talk of ‘health and safety’ can too often sound farcical or marginal. But for British businesses – especially the smaller ones that are so vital to the future of our economy – this is a massively important issue. Every day they battle against a tide of risk assessment forms and face the fear of being sued for massive sums. The financial cost of this culture runs into billions each year.

“So this coalition has a clear New Year’s resolution: to kill off the health and safety culture for good.”

Mr Cameron did not say when the proposed changes would come into effect.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of health and safety regulations.

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