Home Retail Group has signed a health and safety agreement with a local council that reduce red tape across the country.

The Argos, Homebase and Habitat brand owner will be able to cut administration and cut costs for both the business and authorities across the country by reducing unnecessary duplication in inspection and enforcement.

The agreement, led by the Better Regulation Delivery Office, means Harrow Council will provide health and safety advice for other council areas in which Home Retail has its 1,111 stores.

The group will look at the trial results in Harrow - where it has one Argos store and one Homebase store - and use them to inform decisions at other stores.

Harrow Council will cover environmental protection, food safety and and pollution control within the partnership.

Home Retail Group human resources director David Guise said: “Having worked with Harrow Council for a number of years we know they have a good understanding of our business and can help us focus on further improving our excellent safety record and in other areas.

“Last year we achieved reductions in all our safety measures, including a 24% reduction in serious major injuries.”

He added: “This agreement will enable us to focus on a consistent approach, greater efficiencies and provide advice and guidance to ensure we comply with regulations and improve our environments for colleagues and customers alike.”

The agreement was signed last week.