Health and Safety Commission chair seeks board-level pledge on health

The new chair of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has called for more board-level engagement and ownership on health and safety issues.

Judith Hackitt, who took over from Bill Callaghan last month, said: “With the latest figures showing 241 workplace fatalities, 146,000 serious injuries and two million reported cases of work-related ill-health, there is no room for complacency.

“More needs to be done in addressing the enormous challenges of improving health and safety in our workplaces. To improve our safety record, we need strong and committed boardroom leadership that focuses on the real causes of harm in the workplace, and not trivia,” she added.

Issues in Hackitt’s in-tray will include a proposed merger of the HSC and Health and Safety Executive to create a single regulatory body.

Hackitt has previously been group risk manager at chemical firm Elementis, and was also director-general of the Chemical Industries Association from 2002 – the same year she was appointed a member of the HSC, a position she held until 2005.

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