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HSE launches new strategy for GB health and safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued its new strategy for improving health and safety standards in Great Britain.


The strategy, Helping Great Britain work well, was formally launched at an event in London today.
The executive launched the strategy for consultation in December. It did not invite discussion on the strategy’s goals, only on how they could be achieved. It held a series of invitation-only events in cities around Britain in January and February.

HSE chair Dame Judith Hackitt said these events had shown “strong support” for the strategy’s aims. “We have spoken to hundreds of people directly and reached millions more through social media,” said Hackitt. “But what we have seen is more than just ’support’, there is a huge amount of energy and a desire to get involved in driving improvement in all parts of the system.”

These aims are as follows:

  • promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain
  • highlighting and tackling the costs of work-related ill health
  • simplifying risk management and helping business to grow
  • giving SMEs simple advice so that they know what they have to do
  • anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges
  • promoting the benefits of Great Britain’s world-class health and safety system.

The HSE’s previous strategy issued in 2009, Be Part of the Solution, also called on industry to share responsibility with the regulator for reducing accidents and ill health.

The executive stresses that the strategy is not for the regulator to fulfil but for all those with an interest in improving standards, including employers, unions and industry bodies. However, the strategy document notes “HSE is committed to playing its part to improve outcomes and deliver on its responsibilities as the independent regulator and prime mover in the system.”
Minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson, whose portfolio includes health and safety, said the strategy had his “full backing”.

“I was impressed with the energy and drive that has gone into creating the new strategy, involving stakeholders at events held around Great Britain and discussions over social media,” wrote Tomlinson in the introduction to the strategy document. “It is now vital that the impetus is maintained and that the theme on ownership is taken up by everyone in the system – whatever your role, you have an active part to play in delivering on the strategy’s potential. If that happens, we really will all be helping Great Britain to work well.”

IOSH played a part in the engagement programme. The institution’s response highlighted five areas: occupational health, including work-related cancers; competence, leadership and worker engagement across organisations; demographics, including ageing workforces and migrant workers; globalisation, including health and safety within supply chain management; and new and emerging technologies.

Shelley Frost, IOSH’s executive director – policy, said: “IOSH welcomes the new strategy, which is closely aligned to IOSH’s strategic priorities.

“It recognises the key opportunities to address the current and future OSH issues and we support in particular the focus on collaboration across all stakeholder groups to effect change. 

“We look forward to working closely with HSE to deliver our shared ambitions, disseminate best practice and support others in advancing health and safety standards across all industries."



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  • Pleased to hear about the new

    Permalink Submitted by Janet Hunt on 24 November 2016 - 11:19 am

    Pleased to hear about the new initiative introduced earlier this year, but I am not sure how it will be implemented or touch my area of work. I have been training staff who work with pupils with special needs and additional physical needs for over twenty years. I train the trainer in schools to deliver the training to the rest of the team in transferring pupils safely. This also covers appropriate theory which includes risk assessments over a weeks course. The ongoing problem once they return to their individual schools is management support in rolling out adequate training. This puts stress on those who have embraced the role for no extra renumeration but additional responsibility. Time to carry out assessment is not always addressed so some pupils end up with out of date assessments or none at all. This obviously puts both staff and pupils at risk. Recently on a refresher one reported that she was expected to train staff in one hour. Which would be seen as inadequate training if anything should occur to injure either staff or pupil. Having previously worked in schools for nearly thirty years I do understand the many constraints on training and managing it, but it is possible. In some cases higher priority is given to behaviour training not equal priority. Many Headteachers choose to bury their heads in the sand ignoring any legal responsibility. I say many, not all take that stance their are some well run schools where the training is supurb with the trainers/ assessor given support and made to feel valued. We can only continue to advice on best practice or to use words from legislation as far a reasonably practical.


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