The government is to subject the current health and safety legislative system to a review.
The study will be carried out by Lord Young, who was trade and industry secretary back in the 1980s.
The study will look at the application and perception of health and safety legislation and the rise of the compensation culture.
Lord Young commented: “There is no question, in any dangerous occupation, in any place where people are in danger, health and safety rules will apply.
“But there are so many parts of life where it is an absolute nonsense.”
He added that health and safety regulation needs to be proportionate and not bureaucratic.
Lord Young said: “Health and safety regulation is essential in many industries but may well have been applied too generally and have become an unnecessary burden on firms, but also community organisations and public services.
“I hope my review will reintroduce an element of common sense and focus the regulation where it is most needed.”