Last week the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) launched their new strategy, ‘Be Part of the Solution’ – which is very commendable, but as the Health & Safety at Work Act was established in 1974, isn’t it about 35 years late?
‘Elf and safety’ has been ridiculed for years and radio presenters like Terry Wogan are responsible for creating the popular culture that it’s overdone. People talk about ‘the Nanny State’ and after 35 years of custom and practice, it’s going to be tough to shift people’s perception.
The HSE is at the top of the ‘food chain’; their first challenge is going to be to get the other governmental organisations, like local authorities, to buy this and put it into practice.
Yes, of course, H&S is important in keeping people safe, but years of more and more legislation have created an onerous wad of regulations, rules and guidance that people now see as a necessary evil.
If only this new approach encompassed some real benefits for business – and for the people who work in those businesses – there might be more willingness to take positive action.
Health and safety CAN make a difference to the profitability of any business. It’s not just about saving money either – it’s about using business improvement strategies to make health and safety contribute directly to the bottom line.
Being ‘part of the solution’ is nowhere near enough of a carrot – there needs to be a revolution, not just a slightly different press release!
NOTE: If you want to part of the health and safety revolution and you’re in Surrey on 19th July – email firstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘I want to join the Revolution’ in the subject line.