HSE's decision to develop a new strategy has been prompted by a range of factors. These include: the recent slowing of improvement in Great Britain's (GB) health and safety performance; the changing industrial landscape with an increase of small businesses and the self-employed; the different risks posed by new sectors, and the need to regain the health and safety brand from those who misuse it to proliferate bureaucracy and as an excuse for other things.
The strategy, which is resetting the direction for health and safety, sets out a number of goals to be achieved:
- HSE and Local Authorities (LA) will continue to work together to investigate work related incidents and secure justice;
- Encouraging strong leadership and championing a common sense approach to health and safety;
- Building competence of those charged with delivering health and safety in workplaces;
- Promoting the benefits of worker involvement, whether the workplace is unionised or not;
- Customising the support for small businesses to help them comply with their health and safety obligations;
- Avoiding catastrophes in GB's high hazard industries; and
- Taking account of the wider issues that impact on health and safety and its delivery.
HSE is launching the consultation at three simultaneous events in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff this evening [Wednesday, 3 December] and this will be followed by a series of regional workshops across GB in January 2009. Key stakeholders will be invited to give HSE their views on the strategy and pledge their support on its delivery.
The workshops will begin in Liverpool on 8 January 2009, followed by Newcastle (13 January), Bristol (15 January), Birmingham (20 January), Cardiff (22 January), London (27 January) and Glasgow (29 January). Attendance is by invitation only but to register interest, visit http://glasgows.org/hsestrategyconsultation or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those wishing to take part in the online/written consultation can do so by visiting www.hse.gov.uk/strategy where they will find the HSE strategy and its supporting documents. [NB this link will go live at 19.00 3/12/08]
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt will be joined at the London launch by HSE Chief Executive Geoffrey Podger, and Executive Director of the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) Derek Allen. The Edinburgh launch will be hosted by HSE Board member Danny Carrigan and Rob Murray from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), and the Cardiff event by HSE Board member Sandy Blair, and Councillor Keith Evans, Vice-Chairman, Wales on the LACORS Board of Directors.
Judith Hackitt comments:
'We are calling on those involved in workplace health and safety - employers, self-employed, employees, trades unions, manufacturers, suppliers - to work with us on delivering these goals. We all share the same mission; to prevent death, injury and ill health in our workplaces, but HSE and its LA partners, as the regulators for health and safety, cannot do this alone. This is why we are seeking support and involvement from everyone to become part of the solution.'
Derek Allen of LACORS adds:
'We have worked closely with HSE in developing this strategy, and are very pleased to have a significant contribution to make, both in delivering it as a regulator and as a major employer. Local councils are committed to building on the successful partnership we have with HSE. We will continue to raise the profile of health and safety and working to minimise those work activities that cause real harm and suffering.'