Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    FORMER HSE CHAIR SPEAKS MIND ON KEY ISSUES

    Outgoing health and safety boss has further swipe at consultants

    The Institution of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) has reported an interview with the outgoing HSE Chair, Dame Judith Hackitt, in which she expresses her views on Fee for Intervention (FFI), HSE budget cuts and health and safety consultants.

    Dame Judith chaired HSE since her appointment in 2007 and overseen the overhaul of Approved Codes to many Regulations and controversial changes to injury reporting duties, CDM 2015 and the charging of businesses for regulatory breaches.

    Fee for intervention

    “I’d be first to agree Fee for Intervention been a big change for people both within HSE and for people on the receiving end of our inspections. Do I think the principle of charging people who have not done the right thing until we tell them to is right? Yes, I do. The principle is sound. But I am very conscious that people continue to tell me, as you say, that this has changed the relationship between HSE and the people out there who used to value our free advice.

    The extent to which that is real and the extent to which it is perception we have to get to the bottom of. Is it that people are afraid to ask for advice now because they fear we might charge them or is it because they have real evidence that if we ask them to come in we charge them? I don’t know and I think it’s something that needs a lot more analysis to see where the real problem is.

    What I do know is there are a lot of companies out there that used to value the advice they got from inspectors that they now don’t get, so because we have cut back on the number of inspections there are a lot of people who say, in effect: “We miss you. We used to like having visits from HSE, when we got good advice and we would appreciate the opportunity to have that back.

    What interests me is that when you say to people “but we no longer have the resources to do that as free advice, would you be willing to pay for it?”, more often than not people say they would.

    So there’s a conundrum for me in that people tell me they would be willing to pay for advice but, when it comes to FFI, they are afraid it has got in the way of them asking for advice for free. So there is a dilemma to be addressed there, but the principle at its heart is sound.”

    Problems with H&S consultants

    Dame Judith complained on a BBC radio programme in 2015 about the occupational health and safety profession becoming “overpopulated with professionals or so-called professionals who make a living out of over-interpreting what the law says for their own ends”.

    In the IOSH interview she explored this subject further:

    “There is a role for experts in health and safety in this system of ours and it’s an important role. The problem is we have too many and we aren’t as good as we need to be about differentiating between the different types of consultants.

    There are the real high-end experts in subjects like engineering who really know their specialist subjects and they have an important role to play. But then you get those who are more general health and safety consultants. The good ones listen to what their customers want and provide proportionate solutions. The not-so-good ones impose and sell through fear.

    [They say] ‘You must do this or you will be locked up’, or whatever. Those are the ones that need to look long and hard at what they are doing and why. And if there was one thing I would have liked to have landed better in my time in this job it would have been the Occupational Safety and Health Register (OSHCR) because I don’t think it has done what it set out to do at all.”

    Doubts about OSHCR

    The Register was established in 2010 in response to Lord Young’s report which noted that anyone could set themselves up as a health and safety consultant regardless of qualifications or experience. Dame Judith said:

    “I have my doubts as to whether OSHCR in its current form can deliver. We would probably be better off to have a much more radical rethink and look more closely at when expertise is needed and how that’s defined. Rather than look at it as one big group of people.

    So we need to take a different approach to show people what the different pools of expertise are, rather than having this generalist occupational safety and health field and help people to be more discerning about what expertise they need to call on when.

    If it’s a small business the first question is why do they need a consultant at all. Most of what they need to do is common sense and if they engage with their employees they can put it in place themselves. And wouldn’t it be better embedded if they did that rather than getting someone in to do it for them?

    One of the things I’ve learned … is that there are other forces at play here that cause people to believe there are rules when there are not, or not ones that we have imposed. So we have to look at those other actors who put bureaucratic requirements on business, whether it’s insurers, third party accreditors or consultants.

    It’s time we put some time and effort into asking why we are making businesses do this. It’s a real drag on their productivity, so let’s stop.”

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    SEVENTH LONDON CYCLIST DEATH DURING 2018

    Building products vehicle involved in death of Queens doctor

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th August 2018

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 15th AUGUST 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th August 2018

    MAJOR CONTRACTOR FAILED TO SUPERVISE LIFT

    Errors whilst lifting pre-cast concrete blocks fined £600,000

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th August 2018

    FIRM FINED £400,000 OVER VIBRATING TOOLS RISK

    Hand-held orbital sanders, rivet guns, grinders and drills caused harm

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th August 2018

    OVERHEAD POWER AND EARTHING OF SCAFFOLDS

    NASC combines updates advice on scaffold electrical risks

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th August 2018

    REVERSING VEHICLE CLAIMED LIFE OF ‘BANKSMAN’

    Workman trapped whilst assisting colleague in reversing lorry

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th August 2018

    TWO WORKMEN DIED IN SPRAY BOOTH EXPLOSION

    Flammable vapour ignited by ignition sources present at the scene

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    SOLAR SPECIALIST FAILED TO PLAN FOR SAFETY

    Fragile roof failed under weight of solar installation worker

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    DIRECTOR AND COMPANY FINED FOR SAFETY BREACHES

    Basic work at height risks and welfare requirements ignored

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    REFURB PROJECT REQUIRED ASBESTOS ASSESSMENT

    Property management firm fined over lack of asbestos survey

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    CLIENT FAILED MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS TEST

    Homes developer prosecuted for breaching CDM 2015 client duties

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    JAIL TERM FOR DEVELOPER AFTER BUILDING COLLAPSE

    Inexperienced workers demolished structure without Principal Contractor

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    CDM 2015 DUTYHOLDERS IGNORED HSE ADVICE

    Contractor, client and director convicted after dangerous site conditions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2018

    MASSIVE FINE OVER USE OF UNSAFE GAS FITTINGS

    College gas installation contractor exposed after multiple gas leaks

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    TEMP WORKS DESIGNED BY MANAGER AND UNCHECKED

    Collapse of platform highlighted failure in temporary works management

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    RAISING SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CRANE LIFTING OPS

    Major crane seminar seeks to raise standards and share best practice

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    WORKMAN SURVIVES 6m FALL THROUGH ROOFLIGHT

    Unsecured boards provided to cover nearby fragile materials

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    MAJOR FACILITIES FIRM FAILED ON FLAT ROOF SAFETY

    Site specific planning lacking and safety standards not monitored

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    HSE ALERT: UNAUTHORISED ACCESS TO SCAFFOLDS

    hselogo1Regulator sets out new guidance to protect children and the public

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    ASSUMING OTHERS WILL ACT IS NO DEFENCE

    Incomplete edge protection caused 8m fall from roof

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    LEADING ROOFING SPECIALIST FOUND WANTING

    Risk to employees and the public after failure to meet required standard

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 17th July 2018

    SCAFFOLDER DEVELOPMENT EMBRACED BY INDUSTRY

    CPD training attracts over 2500 scaffolders during first year of operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SECURITY PANELS FELL DESPITE EARLY WARNING

    Firm fined £1/4 million after worker crushed by falling fencing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    VEHICLE STRIKE TRIGGERED FALL OF ROOF TRUSSES

    Manufacturer failed to identify a suitable safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    INCIDENT: CHILD STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT

    Wood falling from scaffold triggers arrest of two on construction site

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic