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We will bring you the stories behind the stories. That means talking to the regulators when they take employers to court, and finding the root failings that others can learn from.
This willingness to dig deeper carries through into in our first sample feature -- there are plenty more to come but we and IOSH want to keep some surprises for the first issue of the print magazine, available in hard copy and online flipping PDF version at the beginning of February.
Greencore's award-winning replacement of its packing lines for sandwiches destined for the shelves of Waitrose and Sainsbury's is on the surface a case study of new work equipment designed to reduce bending and stretching that was pushing up sickness absence levels.
But beyond that, it's the story of how intelligent reengineering of a process to improve employee health resulted in cutting by a third the headcount in a section, redeploying employees for more valuable tasks and slashing the company's agency labour bill.
Look even further and you find it is a reminder of the value of involving the workers in redesigning their own workspace and equipment, to ensure that the tools they end up using day in, day out, make them most comfortable and productive.
We believe there is a real value in spending the research time and effort to get beyond the headlines -- and that practitioners are not too busy to read longer articles if those articles give them information that's truly useful.
We will try to avoid stating the obvious; there is little value in our telling even readers at the start of their careers as health and safety practitioners that wet floors can lead to slips. But we will highlight those points of vulnerability, from control of contractors to road risk, that still catch out dutyholders even when they are trying hard to protect workers and others.
We will seek out information to help organisations shrink the holes in the slices in James Reason's "swiss cheese" model that can otherwise align and create vulnerabilities.
As IOSH's executive director -- policy Shelley Frost notes in her first column for IOSH Magazine, occupational health and wellbeing have rightly risen as priorities for employers who want to get the best from their workforces and cut the toll of work-related disease; we will reflect that change in emphasis in our coverage, without losing focus on safety.
We plan to celebrate health and safety leadership at all levels, from shopfloor teamleaders to board executives and to pass on examples of best practice in risk management, wherever in the world we find them.
The magazine aims to reflect the broad variety of health and safety practitioners' activity. Have a look at our Off Duty column which will feature IOSH members engaging safely in some risky pastimes.
Ultimately, we know IOSH members will judge us on whether they find material here that enhances their knowledge and competence as OSH practitioners; supplying that material will be what drives us in the weeks, months and years to come.
“The company have really looked after me and that makes me want to do my best for them so I have worked really hard in delivering my projects beyond what was expected” he added.This young man’s safety and health is clearly a priority for his employer, and the business will benefit from an enthused, productive individual who not only works hard, but also tells people like me what a great company it is to work for. He has done his employer’s reputation no harm at all.
The work of health and safety practitioners is always changing, of course whether it’s responding to threats from governments who understand price but not value, or changes in work that means that psychological stress rises in one place while silicosis in young men employed to spray sand on denim to “stone wash” jeans (true fashion victims) arises somewhere else.
Employers and employees are among those invited to have their say in the development of the HSE’s new five-year strategy, a move which has been welcomed by IOSH. The new strategy will apply from 2016 to 2020 and cover six themes. HSE is looking to engage with relevant parties, including employers, workers, local and central government, unions, other regulators and key representative groups.
“Have you seen the dancing guy?” asks Gary Booton CMIOSH, some way into our interview at Rolls-Royce’s Learning and Development Centre in Derby. I’m starting to look around me when he explains he is talking about a viral video clip of a festival goer dancing alone idiosyncratically in a patch of grass. After a minute, the dancer gains a companion, and then a second; eventually almost no one is left sitting down.
ALARP is an abbreviation for “as low as reasonably practicable” and stands at the heart of the way health and safety is managed in the UK.Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act require employers and the self-employed to ensure the health and safety of employees and others “so far as is reasonably practicable” (SFAIRP). The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSW 1999) use the term “to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.”
It is currently in its pilot phase and is being tested in a closed community of safety and health professionals. Carolyn Issitt, Head of Membership Development at IOSH, said: “We were delighted to be invited to Intersec and given the chance to let people know about the progress of the framework. “The framework is a very exciting development. It will be a tool which will allow businesses to judge for themselves how they are performing. From that they can then set themselves performance targets.”