David Cameron’s recent vow to “kill off health and safety culture for good” is unhelpful and misleading, according to a leading workplace health consultancy.

North West based consultancy Health@Work commented on the Prime Minister’s pledges to cut back on health and safety legislation because of the cost to businesses and red tape involved. As much as half of the existing legislation is planned to be cut or changed over 2012.

It says that Cameron’s comments won’t necessarily help businesses, but could put them at risk.

Keith Gorman, programme manager of Health@Work said: “Once again the idea of health and safety in the workplace is being treated as an inconvenience, and something to be resented. This attitude is wrong for so many reasons.

“Cutting back on health and safety will increase the likelihood of deaths and serious injuries for workers. Health and safety is mostly common sense and does not require a great deal of time or expense. It needs some time to think about dangers as well as hazards and ways to make the workplace safe.”

Keith spoke out at plans to slash legislation as a false economy. She adds: “Spending time to reduce risks and hazards is cheaper than paying out personal injury compensations and increased insurance premiums. At the same time it will reduce the likelihood of fines and prosecutions and bad publicity.”

According to the HSE, in 2011 there were 14,006 reported injuries to employees in the North West, a 5.8% decrease from the previous year.