Arinite Blog


Divided we fall, United we stand

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Jul 18, 2014 | Updated: Jun 1, 2017 Read more: Health & Safety

Divided we fall, United we standIn September the Scottish people vote for independence. The focus has been on Scotland, but what about the breaking up and weakening of the United Kingdom and Great Britain? This has global implications for Britain, which seem to have been under debated.

After a yes vote, not only will Scotland flounder, the UK’s international standing will be significantly diluted and the British public and the international community will no doubt question why the vote was even allowed. A recent article in the Economist concluded that whilst there would be an initial warm glow post independence, primarily due to oil revenue, Scotland’s economic future would be bleak.

Several issues have been debated, including finance, currency, EU membership and defence, but what about health and safety laws after independence?

Earlier in the month an article in the Safety and Health Practitioner magazine considered this aspect. The Scottish Government’s white paper Scotland’s Future, gives limited information on health and safety, but says that a Scottish Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be formed, and that, initially, existing UK H&S legislation will apply. These decisions would also be affected by whether Scotland was accepted into the European Union.

Key Facts

Are you a business with sites on both sides of the border? Have you considered the implications of dual H&S rules already? Perhaps you consider a potential opportunity for less stringent enforcement and rules in the North? And what about the breaking up of the new United Kingdom – will that affect your marketing opportunities around the world?

Whatever happens, the requirement to manage international workplace health and safety risk will remain constant and a good business strategy is to follow this principle in all countries where operations are based.

Key Management Action

As we get closer to the vote, no doubt public interest and realisation of the potential consequences will heighten. If the United Kingdom prevails, then it is business as usual. If not, then we will have to manage the consequences, including the health and safety implications.

How Arinite can help

Arinite supports the reputation and success of the United Kingdom, which includes achieving one of the best health and safety records in the world. Whatever the outcome of the vote in September, we will work with companies and organisations to maintain those world class standards…….on both sides of the border.

Contact us

Arinite clients appreciate we provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. My team of health and safety consultants take pride in keeping health and safety simple for our clients.

If you need to call upon our expert assistance, or just for an informal chat, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at

Bryan Richards 18th July 2014

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

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