Strategy launched to improve workplace health and safety

A
new strategy to improve workplace health and safety in the UK has been
launched, with OH at the forefront.

Des
Browne, minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and
Bill Callaghan, chair of the Health & Safety Commission (HSC), announced
the new strategy, which sets out a new direction for the health and safety
system and the roles of HSC, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and local
authorities (LAs).

The
strategy focuses on managing risks and not eliminating them. HSE and LAs will
target resources on the areas of greatest need and be less active where risks
are well managed. In those areas, there will be greater emphasis on advice and
support.

Browne
said: "This new strategy is radical and brave in its approach to reduce
workplace risks for everyone, no matter what job they do. It is vital that the
whole health and safety system is involved and close partnerships are forged
with other stakeholders to bring about change and improvement.

"This
Government sees occupational health and safety as a cornerstone of a civilised
society and wants to achieve a record that leads the world.

"Great
strides have already been made on safety improvements and I want to see similar
progress in occupational health.

"We
need to achieve a reduction in ill health arising from work. As well as untold
suffering, poor management of risks costs the economy dearly."

Callaghan
said: "This strategy was driven by the recognition that the world of work
is changing, and with it, the hazards. We are not looking for a risk-free
society but one where risks are better understood."

The
Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond
can be accessed on the HSE website.

By
Quentin Reade

www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/hsc/strategy.htm

Key
features of the HSC strategy include:


Focusing resources on poor performance to get best results


Promoting greater involvement of workers – the strategy recognises the people
best placed to make workplaces safe are staff


Making information readily accessible and providing clearer and simpler advice


Involving all stakeholders and forging close working relationships where
everyone has a voice and can contribute

Comments are closed.