Has Health And Safety Got A Bad Reputation?

IOSH Is Attempting To Improve The Image Of Health And Safety


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

UK business secretary Vince Cable believes health and safety might have an image problem, but organisations like the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) are doing their best to rectify this.

Britain has one of the best workplace safety records in Europe, but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is still keen to see further reductions in the number of fatalities and serious injuries suffered in manufacturing facilities, farms, building sites and other working environments.

Some companies feel certain legislation is unnecessarily burdensome and excessive amounts of red tape have caused people to resent health and safety.

Mr Cable remarked: "Part of the problem here is that health and safety has got a bit of a bad reputation, it's caricatured as bureaucracy and red tape. It doesn't have to be that way.

"And it's important that we have bodies like the IOSH, thinking in a sensible and creative way about how to promote wellbeing without all the formalities and the rules."

IOSH had a strong presence at all of the recent party conferences and it used a number of innovative techniques to raise awareness of workplace injuries. It fashioned a unique version of the popular board game 'Operation', which allowed conference attendees to pick out various body parts before the buzzer went. The giant board contained some important statistics on work-related health problems.

IOSH chiefs also held meetings with Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs to further enforce the importance of safe working practices.

A number of reforms aimed at making occupational health and safety laws less burdensome have been made in recent months, including two amendments that took effect on October 1st 2013.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 bill has been tweaked so companies no longer need to seek approval from the HSE when looking for first aid training courses. This, the government hopes, will make the process far simpler.

Additionally, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 have been altered so reporting requirements are now easier for businesses to understand.