The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched new guidance for involving employees in managing workplace health and safety at a conference in London, according to a recent press release. The guidance has been updated to reflect the current diversity of working arrangements.
Chairing the conference, attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including employers from a variety of sectors, trade associations, professional organizations, trade unions and safety representatives, HSE Chair Judith Hackitt highlighted the clear evidence that organizations with good worker involvement deliver better performance on health and safety. And that 90 percent of employers and employees already agree that effective involvement is important.
Speaking at the conference, Health and Safety Minister Lord McKenzie of Luton said, “Thirty years ago this month the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (1977) became law. For many people workplaces are safer, the number of serious but non-fatal injuries reportedly falling by 70 percent, workplace deaths have fallen by 76 percent and an estimated 5,000 deaths have been prevented.”
“The key principles of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) were built upon consultation and engagement and are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago. I see two key tenets here, firstly the importance of leadership from the top of every organization and secondly the real involvement of workers in managing health and safety. We are here today to promote and celebrate the latter. Worker involvement in health and safety is one of my priorities for this year. I see it as one of my tasks to take every opportunity to go out and meet with employers, workers and their health and safety representatives to understand the health and safety issues facing people at work and to promote worker involvement as widely as possible.”
Judith Hackitt said, “The real substance of good worker involvement is trust, respect, co-operation and joint problem solving between employers and employees. This applies to all workplaces irrespective of size or any other factor. This guidance will help all organizations to decide how to implement a culture in their organization which genuinely values employees’ contributions leading to higher commitment and productivity.”
For more information on worker involvement, visithttp://www.hse.gov.uk/involvement. For more information about HSE, visithttp://www.hse.gov.uk.