Deputy Chief Executive
Our Objectives and Activities
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: who we are and what we do
At the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), our mission is simple yet bold - to save lives and reduce injuries.
This statement describes our passion, our belief in our cause and our energy and commitment to improving the lives of others.
Our vision - to lead the way on accident prevention - encapsulates how we work towards achieving our mission in all areas of life: at work, at leisure, on the road, in the home and through safety education.
As a registered charity with roots stretching back to a road safety meeting held in London in 1916, we have a tremendous heritage of promoting safety and health in the UK and around the world.
We are committed to preventing accidents, all the while promoting a proportionate response to risk; unless risks are intolerable, good accident prevention is about managing them, rather than stopping activities altogether.
% of total preventable years of life lost in 2010 to people up to age 60.
Accidents are dismissed in some quarters as inevitable or insignificant in today’s Britain where decades of investment in education, engineering and enforcement have delivered huge progress in the areas of road and workplace safety. Questions abound - have we "gone too far" and is safety restricting our ability to compete on the global stage?
We know that accidents are preventable and the vast majority are caused by a chain of human errors. RoSPA also demonstrated last year, thanks to work commissioned from TRL, that accidents in the home and in leisure cost UK society more than £95billion per year - a colossal waste of money in the context of the poor state of the UK economy.
Now, taking data from the Office for National Statistics for the population of England and Wales, we have demonstrated that accidental (or "unintentional") injuries are the leading cause of years of life lost to people in the 0-60 age group. The picture is the same when applied to years of life lost to people into their seventies, when preventable cancers displace accidental injuries into second place.
Entrenched behaviours lead to most of the preventable causes of death including cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, lungs and skin, drug and alcohol dependency, cardiovascular diseases and sexually transmitted infections. Public Health faces a huge challenge in encouraging people to modify their behaviour and reduce their risk profile.
In contrast, people are highly receptive to safety messages at key points in their lives. RoSPA's Safe At Home programme, for example, showed how keen new mothers are to learn how to keep their babies safe. Learner drivers need advice and practice to get them through the driving test and keep insurance premiums affordable. The newly retired want to know how they can keep healthy and independent through many years of happy retirement. An increased Public Health focus on accident prevention will deliver an enormous payback to society and reduce the demand on our over-stretched National Health Service.
Here’s a snapshot of our objectives in each of the main areas of our work:
Saving lives and reducing injuries...by campaigning and communicating
- Develop and deliver evidence-based campaigns on key issues in order to bring about change
- Maintain the national and international profile of accident prevention.
Saving lives and reducing injuries...in the home
- Ensure that home safety is included on the public health agenda
- Improve the collection, reporting and analysis of UK-wide accident data and use it to demonstrate the effectiveness of injury prevention
- Support and encourage partnerships on accident prevention
- Improve the focus on home safety, including through gathering and disseminating evidence and research, strategic influencing and awareness raising
- Improve physical safety in homes and gardens
- Deliver home safety training courses
- Provide expert advice to improve the safety of consumer products and services.
Saving lives and reducing injuries...on the road
- Support the development and implementation of national and local road safety strategies and the work of other professionals and practitioners in road safety
- Improve driving and motorcycling standards, including through RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (RoADAR)
- Raise awareness and provide advice, help, training, resources and information for all road users and the general public
- Help employers manage their occupational road risk through the provision of advice, guidance, practical products and services.
Saving lives and reducing injuries...at leisure
- Encourage the Government to improve its strategic approach to water safety
- Provide expert consultancy, audit and training
- Support and carry out pioneering research
- Promote recognition that leisure and play should be exciting and as “safe as necessary, not as safe as possible”.
Saving lives and reducing injuries…through safety education
- Promote and encourage the growth of evidence-based practical safety and risk education.
Saving lives and reducing injuries...at work
- Help small and medium-sized enterprises by simplifying health and safety advice and guidance
- Strengthen corporate leadership of health and safety
- Support local groups that provide health and safety assistance to their peers
- Promote skills in health and safety through the provision of advice and training
- Encourage continuous improvement, including through benchmarking and consultancy
- Celebrate the success of high performers and encourage best practice through award schemes.
Saving lives and reducing injuries…through membership
- Extend the RoSPA membership community.
Saving lives and reducing injuries…through events
- Share best practice and information through events.
Examples of how we achieved these objectives during 2011/12 are outlined in the following sections of this Annual Review. As you find out more about what we do and why we do it, we hope you will be inspired to join us in our mission.
Deputy Chief Executive
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