Guidelines are to be issued to local government HR professionals to help them monitor the safety arrangements of council contractors more effectively.
Socpo will provide all local councils with a guide book. It will include a model questionnaire showing the best way to interview potential contractors to vet their safety and personnel procedures.
Tim Rothwell, an adviser to Socpo, who also runs the HR consultancy GWT Rothwell, said he expected to see a gradual increase in the role HR plays in this area.
He said, “I would expect in the future that HR will have a stronger role in managing contractors’ procedures.
“Socpo will be producing a guide to partnerships and part of it will be made up of questions that you can ask contractors.”
Rothwell said the guide, with the working title Public/Private Partnerships: The HR Dimension, is due to be published in October. It comes as health and safety agencies in Europe and America have joined forces to launch a new web site. The site will provide employers with easy access to information to help them protect their staff from illness and injury.
The joint venture pulls together research, statistics and best practice guidance from across the world.
Charles Jefress, assistant secretary of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said, “Both OSHA and its EU counterpart have assembled a wealth of information on successful strategies to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. We’re pleased to have a vehicle for sharing information with each other and with the workers and employers we serve.”
• Provisional figures just released by the Health and Safety Commission show the number of fatal injuries to employees in council-enforced sectors remained relatively static, with 11 fatalities in 1999-2000 compared with 12 in 1998-1999. The provisional number of reported non-fatal injuries to workers for 1999-2000 is 27,932 compared to 30,882 in 1998-1999.