Progress made on targets

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

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.

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