HSE Launches Health, Safety Strategy

Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced on Dec. 3 the launch of a consultation on its new strategy: "The Health and Safety of Great Britain -- Be Part of the Solution."

HSE's decision to develop a new strategy has been prompted by a range of factors, according to officials. These include: the recent slowing of improvement in Great Britain's 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 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 unionized or not;
Customizing the support for small businesses to help them comply with their health and safety obligations;
Avoiding catastrophes in Britain's high hazard industries; and
Taking account of the wider issues that impact on health and safety and its delivery.

HSE said the launch will be followed by a series of regional workshops across Great Britain in January 2009. Key stakeholders will be invited to give HSE their views on the strategy and pledge their support on its delivery. 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.

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