Industries are making real progress in meeting targets to reduce accidents and ill-health at work
Industries are increasingly committing themselves to agreed targets for reducing accidents and ill health at work, the Health and Safety Executive has said.
Timothy Walker, director-general of the HSE, said the agreements showed real progress was being made in its 10-year Revitalising Safety and Securing Health Together strategies.
Walker, who was speaking at the British Occupational Hygiene Society's annual conference in March, said the response so far of the industry advisory committees that report to the Health and Safety Commission was an encouraging indication that progress was being made.
For instance, the committee for the paper and board industry had committed to reducing accidents by 50 per cent.
In the printing industry, targets had been set for reducing days lost through manual handling accidents by 15 per cent, and machinery accidents by 5 per cent, by the end of 2003.
The committee for the health services had said it aimed to reduce accidents in England by 30 per cent by 2004, while the quarrying industry committee was aiming to halve injuries by 2005.
The construction industry was looking at cutting death and serious injuries by 40 per cent over the next four years and by two- thirds by 2010, and to reduce days lost through accidents and illness by half by the end of the decade, he added.
The HSE has been working to better define the management of stress at work by, for example, piloting local benchmarking groups to share good practice and knowledge about stress between small and medium-sized firms and among trade union safety representatives.
Mr Walker also highlighted a series of training seminars run by the Sheffield Occupational Health Development Group for local small businesses, and a health audit run by Walsall Work and Health Steering Group.