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Safety is a moral right

24 September 2008

Everyone should be able to work free from the fear of injury or damage to their health, a major RoSPA conference in Glasgow heard on September 24.
More than 240 people were killed and 140,000 seriously injured in reportable accidents at work in Britain in 2006/07. 31 of the deaths happened in Scotland.

Safety is a moral right
Safety is a moral right

But Danny Carrigan OBE, chair of the Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland will tell delegates that an overly-prescriptive approach to the prevention of accidents and ill health is not the way to reduce the figures.

Carrigan said “The more we allow ourselves to get diverted into a prescriptive approach, the more we risk reinforcing the notion that health and safety is about paperwork, bureaucracy and box-ticking - about doing the bare minimum that we need to do - and not about thinking ahead and getting the job done safely, which is what we are all about in reality.

“I fundamentally believe that a real health and safety culture in any organisation can only happen if the people at the top believe it is the right thing to do – believe that it is right on moral grounds.”
Carrigan, who is a Board Member at the Health and Safety Executive, will call for a sensible approach to risk management.

“Health and safety is not about eliminating the risk altogether, neither is it about putting in place every precaution possible. It is for the leaders, including boards and directors, to think about their organisation and their risks and then put in place measures to deal with those risks.”

Carrigan will urge delegates to work in partnership with each other and with organisations such as RoSPA in order to cut the number of deaths, injuries and cases of ill health in the workplace.

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