HSE must divide enforcement and advice

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must ensure there is more detachment
between enforcement and advice when dealing with small and medium-sized
companies (SMEs), said the head of better working environment division at the

Elizabeth Gyngell said too many SMEs are reluctant to approach the HSE for
advice, for fear of an enforcement action.

Gyngell was presenting the HSE’s new health and safety strategy, during
which she outlined the emerging findings of the HSE/C’s new strategy
development. She explained what the strategy will mean for health and the HSE’s
musculoskeletal disorder (MSDs) and stress priority programmes are developing.

The HSE’s role, she said, is not to be doing what others can but to
stimulate, orchestrate, audit and assure, so it is up to employers and health
professionals, such as those in OH, to get behind the need for change.

The MSD priority programme now has many elements; from the new manual
handling assessment charts (MAC) to Working Backs Scotland; while the stress
priority programme is ‘coming on apiece’ with 25 organisations now implementing
stress priorities she said.


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