**HAZEL GENN is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and Head of the Department of Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. Prior to moving to London she spent twelve years at the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies carrying out research into compensation for personal injuries, and responses to health and safety regulation and access to justice issues. Among her publications she is co-author of Compensation and Support for Illness and Injury (Oxford Socio-Legal Studies Series, Clarendon Press, 1984) and author o/Hard Bargaining: Out of Court Settlement in Personal Injury Actions (Oxford Socio-Legal Studies Series, Clarendon Press, 1987). Since joining London University she has completed research on representation at administrative tribunals for the Lord Chancellor's Department. She is currently carrying out empirical research on medical negligence litigation (funded by the Nuffield Foundation); the adequacy of damages following accidental injury for the English Law Commission; and a comparative study of the role of professionals in house purchases in the U.K. and U.S. (funded by the National Science Foundation in Washington). She has recently completed a small study of the impact of environmental regulations on U.K. firms for the Department of Trade and Industry.
Business Responses to the Regulation of Health and Safety in England*
Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
Law & Policy
Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 219–233, July 1993
How to Cite
GENN, H. (1993), Business Responses to the Regulation of Health and Safety in England. Law & Policy, 15: 219–233. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9930.1993.tb00104.x
*Some of the material in this paper will be included in a research monograph in preparation entitled Risky Business: Responses to Health and Safety Regulation in the Workplace, to be published in the Oxford Socio-Legal Studies Series by Clarendon Press.
- Issue online: 28 JUN 2008
- Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
The material in this article is extracted from an empirical study of industrial and agricultural businesses' responses to regulation of health and safety in the workplace. The study critically assesses the philosophy of self-regulation which underpins the regulatory framework in England and within the context of the expectations of employers built into that philosophy, attempts to distinguish between different models of employers in relation to their levels of motivation toward health and safety issues; their knowledge and comprehension of the law; their general approach to compliance with regulations; and their response to inspectors' enforcement activities. The article concludes that self-regulation is only capable of operating under very narrow conditions. It is at its most successful within the largest and most hazardous companies, despite the fact that the inspectorates devote the greatest concentration of enforcement and advisory resources to these sites. Companies which do not have a natural interest in safety require considerable advice, encouragement and coercion. In some situations deterrent penalties may be required in order to achieve a sustained improvement in standards. The research suggests that greater attention should be paid to the variety of employers and their compliance strategies, and to the potential for better targeting of regulatory efforts.