Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health (WISH)

Reporting & involvement

A picture of workers involved in health and safety.

Evidence shows that businesses with good workforce involvement in health and safety perform better when it comes to managing health and safety measures. They also tend to have better productivity and higher levels of workforce motivation.

Workforce involvement in health and safety decision-making can save lives and reduce injuries.

Workforce involvement strategies can include consultation, team based learning and problem solving, tool box talks, regular safety committee meetings and behavioural safety initiatives.

How has RoSPA contributed?

An initial exploratory workshop on enhancing workforce involvement in health and safety in non-unionised workplaces was held on March 2, 2009 Notes of the exploratory workshop (PDF 87kb)

RoSPA held its second free workshop in Birmingham on October 28, 2009 to explore good practice in workforce involvement in non-unionised workplaces, to feed back to the HSE.

RoSPA was subsequently commissioned by the HSE Field Operations Directorate (FOD) Scotland to investigate worker involvement in health and safety within non-unionised workplaces in Scotland. The initiative built on evidence that organisations with "properly involved" unionised safety representatives achieved better health and safety performance than those without such representation. For the investigation, RoSPA Scotland worked with the HSE FOD Scotland to explore how non-unionised organisations involved their workforce in health and safety-related decision-making and in developing their organisational culture. A series of free half-day seminars entitled What Works in Worker Involvement were held in Scotland in December 2009 as part of the research, which also comprised telephone interviews and case study development. RoSPA also drew on a range of health and safety business networks in Scotland with the aim of developing a self-sustaining "what works" toolkit, underpinned by HSE messages covering the positive benefits of worker involvement, signposting relevant case studies, publications and sources of advice.

The findings of the investigation were presented at the RoSPA Scotland Occupational Health and Safety Congress 2010 in Glasgow.

The investigation report Worker involvement in health and safety: what works? (PDF 693kb), is available to download. As well as full details of the investigation, its conclusions and recommendations, the report includes two elements of the planned toolkit – case studies and hints and tips for effective WISH. It is hoped that additional funding will be secured to enable the toolkit to be developed further and a DVD to be created.

The RoSPA Workforce Involvement in Safety & Health Trophy

Sponsored by Springfields Fuels Ltd, this award is presented annually to the entrant that demonstrates the best involvement and contribution of employees towards health and safety management excellence.

The judges look for evidence of:

  • Employee involvement at operational level
  • H&S representation
  • Representatives' involvement in H&S management processes
  • Joint consultation

For further information visit the Awards section of the web site or email:

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