HSE strategy finds dissenter
17 June 2009
The Health and Safety Executive's five-year plan, launched earlier this month has been broadly welcomed, with organisations such as the TUC, RoSPA and the CBI all pledging their support to the new strategy. However, there is one campaign group that does not agree and is complaining that the strategy falls short of expectations.
Signing of the pledge (L-R: James Purnell- Work and Pensions Secretary, Sir Steve Bullock, of the Local Government Association, Judith Hackitt- HSE chair, and Brendan Barber- TUC general secretary
Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), which represents the families of people killed in work accidents, has dismissed the strategy for workplace health and safety as 'nothing new'. FACK also claimed it had to fight to be included in the consultation on the strategy and is very disappointed at its the outcome.
The organisation feels that there is nothing in the policy to show us that employers will be compelled to comply in the future. “Without massive increases in resources and inspectors behaving like real enforcers, we cannot see how a strategy that merely encourages those who take the risks with our lives to behave better can possibly succeed,” a spokesperson suggested.
The Health and Safety of Great Britain: Be Part of the Solution sets 10 broad goals, including reinforcing worker involvement, but does not itself tie the executive to specific targets.
The Health and Safety Executive is calling for industry's leaders to sign a pledge to improve health and safety standards. A new strategy, Be Part of the Solution, launched last month is designed to reduce the number of workplace accidents and take a common sense approach to ensuring that risk management is an enabler for business not a burden.
The new strategy has naturally won support from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Concerned that business leaders will cut back on health and safety spending, the safety charity is warning against an increase in the number of casualties being seen as part of the price to be paid for the recession. RoSPA has pledged to call on employers to put health and safety at the heart of what they do and to take a common sense approach to health and safety; commit to debunking myths around health and safety that trivialise the impact of injuries, ill health and deaths on individuals and their families; and recognise the importance of health and safety in difficult economic times and the dangers of complacency.
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