Our success stories

Boy reaching for blind cords.

Blind cord safety campaign

In February 2014 we welcomed a major development in our campaign to stop window blinds posing a risk to young children.

A new European safety standard was introduced by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). This means that that new blinds must be "safe by design" or be supplied with the appropriate child safety devices installed.

How belting up became law

Belting up is now second nature to most people when they get in a vehicle but it took many years of campaigning to get the first law on seat belts on the statute books.


Past successes

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has a long history of success as it campaigns on issues which have the potential to save lives and reduce injuries.

Here is a selection of our success stories spanning almost a century of our work in accident prevention:

1917 – The first campaign by RoSPA’s founders, the London “Safety First” Council was to change the pedestrian rule so that walkers faced oncoming traffic. Fatal accidents caused by pedestrians stepping into the path of vehicles fell by 70 per cent in the first year.

1924 – Half a million copies of a safety code for road users were published. The first Highway Code did not come out from the Government until 1931.

1933 – Analysis of the causes of road accidents began after pressure from RoSPA on the Government.

1942 – RoSPA devised the Kerb Drill for children. This lasted for decades until the Green Cross Code was developed.

1945 – Safety standards for fireguards were developed with the British Standards Institution.

1947 – The Cycling Proficiency Scheme was begun. In 1958 it became a national scheme at the request of the Government. 100,000 children a year were trained.

1953 – The industrial safety officers section of the society became an independent body called The Institution of Industrial Safety Officers. It is now better known as IOSH.

1956 – RoSPA’s occupational awards scheme was launched and is still running today with 1,700 entrants a year.

1961 – The Tufty Club was launched and in the ensuing decades attracted more than 10,000 affiliated clubs with millions of members. Princess Michael of Kent became its first president in 1979.

1964 – RoSPA began to campaign for drink-drive legislation. This was subsequently enacted in 1967. Now RoSPA is campaigning for a reduction in the drink drive limit from 80 to 50 milligrammes.

1975 – RoSPA and the Safety Glazing Association made joint efforts to improve controls on glass in the home. Improved standards subsequently reduced the number of falls through glass doors and windows which led to serious injury. Glass in furniture such as coffee tables was also made of safety glass.

1980 – The Wheelchair Proficiency Scheme was developed to mark the International Year of Disabled People. It was designed to give wheelchair users more independence and confidence out of the home.

1981 – RoSPA’s president, Lord Nugent, secured compulsory wearing of seatbelts with a late amendment to a Transport Bill. The law is estimated to have saved 60,000 lives to date.

1985 – It became clear that guidance and training was needed for thousands of minibus drivers as the vehicle grew in popularity. RoSPA developed and published it and revised guidance is still used today.

1987 – The campaign for safer foam furnishings began to bear fruit. In the years which followed fire deaths plummeted as people replaced old sofas with safer models. Hundreds of lives have been saved.

1991 – A five-year campaign by RoSPA finally persuaded the Government to make it mandatory for all domestic appliances to be sold with fitted plugs. This removed an electrocution and fire risk as people no longer had to work out which wire went where in the plug.

1992 – The innovative Quality Safety Audit was introduced for employers. Over the years it has undergone various developments which keep it relevant to the workplace today.

1994 – RoSPA/City & Guilds home safety training was developed, the first course of its kind with accreditation. It proved popular with home safety professionals and emergency services personnel. Updated versions are still in use today.

1996 – RoSPA published its first ideas on the Management of Occupational Road Risk (MORR™). This has subsequently developed into a mainstream health and safety issue for all employers. Details of work-related road accidents are now collected by police.

1998Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk (LASER) was becoming popular with many schemes all over the country, some called Junior Citizen or Crucial Crew. RoSPA began a project to evaluate all such schemes with funding from the Department of Health.

1999 – RoSPA’s president Lord Davies of Oldham introduced a Bill in the House of Lords to ban the use of handheld mobile phones while driving. Although the Bill failed it raised the profile of the problem and legislation was finally achieved in 2003.

Child in Car Seat

In 2003 the child car seats website www.childcarseats.org.uk was launched by RoSPA, with funding from the Department for Transport. It was an immediate success and continues to provide parents with vital information about keeping their children safe in cars.

2003 – The child car seats website www.childcarseats.org.uk was launched by RoSPA, with funding from the Department for Transport. It was an immediate success and continues to provide parents with vital information about keeping their children safe in cars.

2005Driver Profiler, a RoSPA online risk assessment tool which allows employers to measure the strengths and weaknesses of their employees’ driving without leaving the workplace, won a British Safety Industry Federation product innovation award.

2006 – RoSPA began its Injury Database project to press for the renewed collection of home and leisure accident causation statistics through hospitals. By 2009 the feasibility report had led to a pilot project being run through the SW Public Health Observatory. It is hoped that a more comprehensive system will be started soon.

2008 – The Child Safety Education Coalition was established with funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (now Department for Education) to promote high quality practical safety education out of school.

2009 – The Safe At Home scheme was established to fit safety equipment into homes in the 141 most deprived wards in England. It also involved home safety training for thousands of professionals working with children and families. Funding was provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (now Department for Education).

2010 – Thermostatic Mixing Valve campaign: An amendment to the Building Regulations (April 6, 2010) means that all new-build homes across England and Wales will have devices fitted to baths to limit the temperature of the water to 48°C.

2011 - Our current campaigns include: blind cord safety; electric gates; lighter evenings; young drivers; injury data collection.

If you would like to support RoSPA as we continue to campaign in all areas of accident prevention, take a look at our Current Campaigns and pledge your support, donate or join us as a RoSPA member - you will clearly be showing your own commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries through accident prevention.