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Businesses: Orders and Regulations

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the (i) Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and (ii) Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 to (A) businesses and (B) the regulators. (126646)

The information is as follows.

(i) The total costs of implementing the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 in the first year were estimated to be between £117.0 million and £202.6 million. Costs were estimated, in present value terms, to be between £477.6 million and £676.3 million over the first 10 years. Costs were estimated to be £1.13 billion to £1.94 billion over 40 years, in present value terms1.

The additional costs to health and safety regulators were not considered to be substantial. There were pre-existing regulations, implemented in 1989, and ensuring compliance with the new requirements would be subsumed into current inspection activities.

(ii) The first year costs of implementing the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 were estimated to be between £201 million and £358 million. Over the first 10 years, total costs were estimated, in present value terms, to be between £2,377 million and £4,300 million.

The initial costs to regulators were estimated to be around £65,000 for training inspectors (mainly HSE) and around £300,000 for conducting research into whole-body vibration exposures to assist industry by producing generic risk assessments for machines expected to cause higher exposures2.

Enforcing the regulations is unlikely to increase costs because enforcement action will be absorbed as part of the full range of inspection duties carried out by inspectors.

The information in this reply was drawn from the final regulatory impact assessment for the legislation that is available in the Library or on the HSE website at

http://www.hse.gov.uk/ria/index.htm.

The Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are committed to meeting the Better Regulation challenge. The HSE is constantly reviewing what can be done better to ensure that people are protected at work while avoiding unnecessary burdens on business.

1 All costs are calculated in 2000-01 prices.

2 All costs are calculated in 2001-02 prices.