Partnerships are the key to improving workplace safety

New
strategy will call on agencies, employers, nurses and unions to work together
to address work health issues

 

There will
be a new infrastructure to implement a strategy for reducing ill health at
work, Sandra Caldwell, director of the health directorate at the Health and
Safety Executive, told the congress.

 

She gave
details of the strategy, due for launch this month, confirming it will involve
new partnership arrangements.

 

"People
working in isolation to address issues like preventing ill health and improving
rehabilitation after ill health will not make a real difference," she
said. "We need new partnerships."

 

These will
involve government agencies, local authorities, individuals, large and small
employers, trade unions and health professionals, including OH nurses.

 

There will
be a partnership board to oversee implementation, and five groups to take
forward each programme of work.

 

"This
is a 10-year process and we must start now if we are to hit the targets,"
Caldwell added.

 

The key
goals are to:

 

– Reduce
ill health caused by work

 

– Help
people return to work

 

– Improve
opportunities for those unemployed due to disability or ill health

 

– Promote
healthy living in the workplace

 

By 2010
interested parties will work together to implement the strategy.

 

This falls
into line with government plans to revitalise health and safety, Lord Whitty,
junior minister at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions,
told delegates. 

 

www.hse.gov.uk

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