The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) yesterday (3rd Dec) launched a consultation on its new strategy: 'The Health and Safety of Great Britain \\ Be Part of the Solution'.
HSE's decision to develop a new strategy has been prompted by a range of factors. These include: the recent slowing of improvement in Great Britain's (GB) health and safety performance; the changing industrial landscape with an increase of small businesses and the self-employed; the different risks posed by new sectors, and the need to regain the health and safety brand from those who misuse it to proliferate bureaucracy and as an excuse for other things.
The strategy, which is resetting the direction for health and safety, sets out a number of goals to be achieved:
* HSE and Local Authorities (LA) will continue to work together to investigate work related incidents and secure justice;
* Encouraging strong leadership and championing a common sense approach to health and safety;
* Building competence of those charged with delivering health and safety in workplaces;
* Promoting the benefits of worker involvement, whether the workplace is unionised or not;
* Customising the support for small businesses to help them comply with their health and safety obligations;
* Avoiding catastrophes in GB's high hazard industries;
* and Taking account of the wider issues that impact on health and safety and its delivery. A series of regional workshops will take place across GB in January 2009. Key stakeholders will be invited to give HSE their views on the strategy and pledge their support on its delivery.
The workshops will begin in Liverpool on 8 January 2009, followed by Newcastle (13 January), Bristol (15 January), Birmingham (20 January), Cardiff (22 January), London (27 January) and Glasgow (29 January).
Those wishing to take part in the online/written consultation can do so by visiting www.hse.gov.uk/strategy where they will find the HSE strategy and its supporting documents.
Judith Hackitt comments:
"We are calling on those involved in workplace health and safety - employers, self-employed, employees, trades unions, manufacturers, suppliers - to work with us on delivering these goals. We all share the same mission; to prevent death, injury and ill health in our workplaces, but HSE and its LA partners, as the regulators for health and safety, cannot do this alone. This is why we are seeking support and involvement from everyone to become part of the solution."
Derek Allen of LACORS adds:
"We have worked closely with HSE in developing this strategy, and are very pleased to have a significant contribution to make, both in delivering it as a regulator and as a major employer. Local councils are committed to building on the successful partnership we have with HSE. We will continue to raise the profile of health and safety and working to minimise those work activities that cause real harm and suffering."
The TUC welcomed the plans to make UK workplaces safer.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
The Government must ensure that the HSE gets the political and financial support it needs to take its strategy forward in what are likely to be difficult times to come."
Source: TUC / HSE