Saving lives and reducing injuries...AT WORK
Help small and medium-sized enterprises by simplifying health and safety advice and guidance
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face specific challenges when it comes to preventing accidents and ill health. Many report that “red tape” from third parties and a lack of resources make it hard for them to manage health and safety.
We were delighted to annouce a partnership with Astutis at Safety and Health Expo 2011.
What we did:
The Löfstedt Review, which considered opportunities for "reducing the burden of health and safety legislation on UK businesses while maintaining the progress made in improving health and safety outcomes", kept a national-level focus on SMEs. We submitted a formal response, in which we urged the review team, led by Prof Ragnar Löfstedt of King's College London, to look for practical solutions which could help all businesses, and particularly smaller firms, to meet their health and safety duties. We also suggested the implementation of mediation procedures enabling firms to appeal against what they saw as "over-the-top" requirements.
Subsequently, we welcomed the findings of the review, which confirmed that the existing legal structure for health and safety was broadly fit for purpose, while highlighting where some regulatory "housekeeping" could be beneficial. We also welcomed the establishment of an independent regulatory panel to look into issues raised by businesses that believed a health and safety inspector had given incorrect or disproportionate advice, and subsequent moves to establish a wider "myth busters" challenge panel to look into the advice given by non-regulators like insurance firms, consultants and employers.
Prof Löfstedt, who we were delighted to welcome as a guest speaker at a RoSPA briefing on the review, also accepted that more help was needed in tackling the difficulties small firms faced on proportionate health and safety management. We continued to champion this theme, particularly in light of the closure of the HSE Infoline and the winding up of the health and safety team at the Skills Funding Agency, and have worked hard to ensure that SMEs are aware of the help we can give them, including through the RoSPA Infocentre which provides health and safety information free-of-charge.
Strengthen corporate leadership of health and safety
Health and safety should be led by those in senior positions, not just for ethical and legal reasons, but because preventing accidents and ill health makes good business sense.
Cofely’s board of directors attended a RoSPA masterclass.
What we did:
We continued to work directly with top-level business leaders, and our activities included running a "masterclass" on health and safety for Cofely’s board of directors.
We also hosted the RoSPA Safety and Health Forum 2011 in Birmingham, which opened with a keynote question and answer session with Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive. The forum, which had the theme "Safety Changes - obstacle or opportunity?", was convened to guide employers through the shift in regulatory emphasis following the Lőfstedt Review and the Government’s response to it. In addition to the Birmingham event, the leadership of safety was on the agenda at the RoSPA Scotland Safety and Health Forum 2011 in Glasgow, which focused on finding opportunities for continuous health and safety improvement amid cuts and changes.
Siemens Industry engaged with RoSPA to help develop and deliver our behavioural-based safety programme for our employees across the UK. We chose RoSPA as we recognise and use its services on our health and safety management systems and the approach it has taken has been invaluable.
Valerie McGinty, environment, health and safety manager, Siemens plc
Support local groups that provide health and safety assistance to their peers
Safety Groups UK is a valued self-help network, offering practical assistance to SMEs seeking to improve their health and safety arrangements.
What we did:
We continued to support Safety Groups UK, a nationwide network of 70 local groups that provide practical help and advice to other employers in their area. Once again, we organised the Alan Butler Awards, through which group achievements are recognised. A new structure for the awards scheme was introduced, plus an award for the Alan Butler Overall Winner, which was won by the Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association. The second Maurice Adamson Award, which recognises an individual’s contribution to the safety groups movement, was presented to Gordon Hicks MBE, of London Health and Safety Group who has sadly passed away since the ceremony.
Promote skills in health and safety through the provision of advice and training
We began using the BACK-TRACK device in our training courses.
Lives can be saved and injuries reduced when managers and workers better understand how to prevent accidents and ill health and have the necessary skills. Training courses should evolve in order to remain relevant and effective.
What we did:
Throughout the year, our focus was very much on ensuring that our training courses remained as relevant and effective as possible and, to this end, there were some significant developments.
One of the biggest developments was the achievement of BTEC accreditation for our moving and handling trainers courses. Our Safer People Handling Trainers Course (BTEC Level 4) and our Manual Handling Trainers Course (BTEC Level 3) became the first in the country with recognised "levelled" qualifications equivalent to a Certificate of Higher Education or A-Level Standard, respectively. We also incorporated the use of the BACK-TRACK movement tracking device in our moving and handling courses, providing delegates with the means of identifying posture-related risk factors, such as stooping.
We were also pleased to introduce a new City and Guilds NVQ Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, which recognises a person’s competence using "on-the-job" performance for assessment rather than relying on examinations.
Among our other activities was the development of a range of training courses specifically tailored to the requirements of individual organisations, particularly larger firms, and the approval of courses offered by other training providers. We also entered into an exciting new "trusted training" partnership with Astutis, welcoming each other’s clients on to courses across England, Wales and Scotland, and began the joint delivery of some courses with the Safety Advice Centre in Northern Ireland.
Closer to home, we were absolutely delighted to celebrate with Roxanne Woodiwiss, one of our account advisers, when she achieved a distinction in the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (Level 3).
Roxanne Woodiwiss, one of RoSPA’s account advisers.
Encourage continuous improvement, including through benchmarking and consultancy
Complacency about accident prevention in light of success already achieved could lead to a rise in injuries. Benchmarking tools inspire firms to enhance their performance, while consultancy helps them address specific needs.
I am over the moon and quite shocked with gaining a distinction. I would recommend that other people give the course a go, especially if they are looking at moving into the health and safety arena.
Roxanne Woodiwiss, account adviser, RoSPA, who achieved a distinction in the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (Level 3)
What we did:
In a significant move that laid the foundations for future benchmarking developments, we entered into an exclusive partnership with airsweb, a specialist quality, health, safety and environment software developer. Development work began on using airsweb's state-of-the-art web-based technology to facilitate benchmarking in relation to RoSPA audits and the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.
Our team of consultants continued to support organisations the length and breadth of the UK and further afield, and we were delighted with the positive feedback they received.
Celebrate the success of high performers and encourage best practice through award schemes
Organisations that have shown a commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries should be honoured. Awards encourage future improvements and set a good example to others.
The Sir George Earle Trophy was presented to Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish and Southern Ltd.
What we did:
There were more than 1,900 entrants in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2011, with Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish and Southern Ltd winning the highest accolade - the Sir George Earle Trophy - in addition to the Construction Industry Sector Award. The RoSPA awards panel was particularly impressed with how the company was stepping up to the challenge of delivering the corporate Balfour Beatty goal of "zero harm" by 2012 and by the strong and creative approach developed by its senior management team. The panel also noted the way in which foremen and supervisors engaged in regular safety co-ordination meetings as well as in inspection and in the investigation of all incidents. It commended the way safety representatives were pulled into practical problem-solving activities and also the company’s policy of valuing and acting on ideas from the workforce.
A new award was introduced for 2011 - the SME Assistance Trophy, sponsored by BHSF - which was presented to the British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd in recognition of its work to assist SMEs with health and safety.
We are delighted to have received such a prestigious award as the Sir George Earle Trophy. The award recognises the ongoing effort, commitment and engagement of our employees in promoting a safe working culture.
Bob Clark, managing director, Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish and Southern - winner of the Sir George Earle Trophy at the RoSPA Awards 2011
Distinguished Service Awards, which recognise exceptional individual contributions, were presented to Prof Colin Mackay, Steve Sumner OBE and Martin Isles.
During the year, we also offered our congratulations to the Olympic Delivery Authority and its delivery partner CLM for the outstanding health and safety achievements of the "Big Build" phase for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - achievements which set a fantastic example for the wider construction industry to follow. The safety record of the Big Build, which, at its peak, involved a 12,500-strong workforce on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village, was hugely impressive. Construction of the main sporting venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park involved around 62 million hours of work with an Accident Frequency Rate less than half the construction industry average, and it was completed without an accident-related fatality. Focusing on health, the work of Park Health (a joint venture between Sypol Ltd and Duradiamond Healthcare) - the construction project’s occupational health function - was announced as the winner of the RoSPA Astor Trophy.
Here you can read more about our work on managing occupational road risk.
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