Safety code floats idea of board accountability

Company
board members are being urged to become more accountable for health and safety.

A
draft code drawn up by the Health and Safety Commission is intended to help
directors ensure that workplace risks are properly managed and that staff and
the public are protected.

Peter
Carr, personnel services officer for Easington Council, in north-east England,
welcomed the move. He said, "It will give health and safety issues a
higher profile. Our health and safety manager is part of the personnel
department and reports directly to our chief executive."

HSC
chair Bill Callaghan said, "Individual directors and managers can be
prosecuted if their actions, or lack of them, lead to work-related deaths,
illness or injury. The code seeks to ensure that everyone at board level
recognises and acts on this responsibility."

Consultation
ends on 9 April.

Directors
need to…

*
Accept joint responsibility and leadership for their organisation’s health and
safety performance

*
Appoint one board member to champion health and safety issues.

*
Ensure that individual members of the board recognise their personal
liabilities and responsibilities under health and safety law.

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