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    DOING SAFETY DIFFERENTLY… AND BETTER?

    Rethinking a more positive approach to workplace health and safety

    The world of workplace health and safety is not a ‘cool’ space to occupy in 2017.

    The H&S brand has been seriously damaged over the last 20 plus years and is now often used as a metaphor for ‘absolute safety’, the ‘nanny state’ and all that is bureaucratically overzealous and risk averse.

    HSE has sought to dispel health and safety ‘myths’ and is fighting a rear-guard battle to rescue the brand. However, the damaging motto of “Elf and Safety” now seems firmly embedded in popular culture.

    The subject matter is not the natural ally of positivity. Danger, hazards, harm and risk are words used to describe the core business of health and safety, supplemented by compliance, error and sanctions.

    Just take a look at our website news!

    Alternative ways of thinking about safety

    A number of academics and practitioners based in Australia are currently leading the way in rethinking health and safety. Ideas are being developed and shared on more positive approaches to minimising the harm which can be caused at work.

    The Safety Differently website provides a forum for those wishing express or hear of alternative approaches. The website is based on the belief that:

    “People and organisations need to adapt. Traditional approaches to safety are not well suited for this. They are, to a large extent built on linear ideas – ideas about tighter control of work and processes, of removing creativity and autonomy, of telling people to comply.

    The purpose of this website is to celebrate new and different approaches to safety. More specifically it is about exploring approaches that boost the capacity of people and organisations to handle their activities successfully, under varying conditions.

    Some of the analytical leverage will come from theoretical advancements in fields such as adaptive safety, resilience engineering, complexity theory, and human factors. But the ambition is to stay close to pragmatic advancements that actually deliver safety differently, in action.”

    Or ….. should it be Health Differently?

    The dictionary tells us that Safety is the condition of being “protected from injury” whilst Health is the condition of being “free from illness or injury”. Both terms effectively mean same i.e. people are protected from harm.

    Harm is any negative impact on health and can include both immediate traumatic injury and the harm arising progressively over longer periods of time including any impact on mental health. What we currently badge as “Health and Safety at Work” could therefore more simply be described as “Health at Work”.

    We could promote a focus on the more realistic objective of minimising harm to health as opposed to maximising safety. We all know what harm looks like whereas safety is far more subjective.

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) might become the Health Protection Executive (HPE) working alongside the Health Service (HS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    The change would reflect the new emphasis on longer term health issues and erase the damaging “Elf and Safety” brand with the stroke of pen! Meanwhile, take a look at the Safety Differently website for some thought-provoking and fresh ideas.

     

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE UPDATE 17th APRIL 2019

    hselogo1Latest online register of prosecutions and enforcement notices

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    Posted on 17th April 2019

    TWO BRICKLAYERS INJURED IN FLOOR COLLAPSE

    Joist hangers incorrectly installed and floor overloaded with blocks

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    Posted on 16th April 2019

    FIRM FINED £150K AFTER BOY FELL FROM SCAFFOLD

    Ladder guard failed to prevent 12-year old accessing scaffolding

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    Posted on 16th April 2019

    SAFETYCAM VEHICLE TRAPS ERRANT DRIVERS

    Safer Highways reports on new approaches to roadworks health and safety

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    Posted on 16th April 2019

    NEW PRE-QUAL SYSTEM LAUNCHED BY MAJOR PLAYERS

    Build UK and CECA publish common PQ assessment standard

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    Posted on 16th April 2019

    REPORT CONFIRMS RISING COST OF OFFENDING

    Considerable increases in fines imposed on larger organisations

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    Posted on 16th April 2019

    CONCRETE BLOCK MAKER FAILED TO GUARD MACHINE

    Effective safety precautions absent for a number of years

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    Posted on 9th April 2019

    HOTEL REFURBISHMENT DISTURBED ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to act on well-founded asbestos concerns expressed by employee

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    CABLE HIT CAUSED BY LACK OF PLANS AND DETECTION

    Excavation for sign erection struck live electrical cable

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    HSE AND THE ‘SECRETS’ OF RISK ASSESSMENT

    hselogo1Regulator advice on successful risk assessment comes at a price

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    WORKMAN FELL INTO CAR PARK VENTILATION SHAFT

    Protective grill unsecured and gave way under movement of workman

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    BUILDER GIVEN PRISON TERM OVER WORK AT HEIGHT

    Unsafe working platforms and lack of silica dust control punished severely

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    HSE WARNING ON SAFE DEMO AND REFURBISHMENT

    TV programme prompts stability guidance for demo & refurb project teams

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    Posted on 1st April 2019

    VIBRATION RISK UNCONTROLLED FOR TEN YEARS

    Company workers used sanders and air-fed cutting equipment

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    Posted on 26th March 2019

    BUILDING OCCUPIER FINED £1.8M OVER ROOF FALL

    Two workmen fell 4m through rooflight during leak investigation

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    Posted on 26th March 2019

    CONSTRUCTION SITE DEATHS SET TO FALL?

    HSE in-year fatality records for 2018/19 suggest significant reduction

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    Posted on 22nd March 2019

    BRICKLAYER FATALLY INJURED BY FALLING WALL

    Masonry collapsed during concrete back filling operation

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    Posted on 18th March 2019

    BASIC LADDER SAFETY FAILURES FINED £150,000

    Repair and maintenance firm had no excuse for errors causing injury

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    Posted on 18th March 2019

    HSE ISSUES REMINDER ON SAFE SCAFFOLD DESIGN

    Recent incidents and high winds prompt warning from regulator

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    Posted on 12th March 2019

    LORRY DRIVER DIED IN OVERHEAD POWER STRIKE

    Major company failed to communicate precautions to grab arm operator

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    Posted on 12th March 2019

    ASSESSMENT SHOWED RISK – PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN

    Workman seriously injured when falling into open unguarded stairwell

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    Posted on 1st March 2019

    MAJOR FIRM FAILED TO IMPLEMENT SAFE SYSTEM

    Procedures for safe plant refuelling failed to prevent death of workman

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    Posted on 26th February 2019

    CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER CONTRACTOR FATAL FALL

    Company breached duty to protect contractors as well as employees

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    Posted on 26th February 2019

    FOURTEEN YEAR FAILURE TO MANAGE ASBESTOS

    Firm failed to implement asbestos management plan following survey

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    Posted on 25th February 2019

    CHILD INJURED BY WALL COLLAPSE INCIDENT

    Council failed to carry out “intelligence led” condition inspections

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    Posted on 18th February 2019
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