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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 WEEKLY UPDATE 26th APRIL 2017

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    Posted on 27th April 2017

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    Posted on 24th April 2017

    HSE OPEN FEE FOR INTERVENTION CONSULTATION

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    Posted on 24th April 2017

    LIFTING OPERATION WITH EXCAVATOR CAUSED DEATH

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    Posted on 24th April 2017

    WATER FIRM FINED £1.8M AFTER WORKER DROWNED

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    Posted on 24th April 2017

    PC AND CONTRACTOR PAY PRICE FOR UNSAFE WORKING

    Dangerous working practices continued during ‘snowy’ weather

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    Posted on 24th April 2017

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 19th APRIL 2017

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    Posted on 20th April 2017

    TOUGHER COURT PENALTIES UNDER NEW GUIDELINES

    Analysis of health and safety prosecutions reveals rise on most metrics

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 12th APRIL 2017

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    STOP. MAKE A CHANGE DAY – 18th APRIL 2017

    Infrastructure sector holds first ever ‘National Stand-Down Day’

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    ELECTRICIAN FAILED TO PROTECT HIS TRAINEE

    Community service sentence after apprentice fell through ceiling

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    CLIENT FINED OVER ABSENT ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment project commenced before survey undertaken

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    GROUNDWORKER LEFT PARALYSED BY FALLING PIPE

    Gas infrastructure business failed to maintain safe system of work

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    Posted on 18th April 2017

    MAJOR CONTRACTOR FAILED ON POWER LINE RISK

    Workman suffers severe burns after post touches 11kV overhead cable

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    Posted on 6th April 2017

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 6th APRIL 2017

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

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    Posted on 6th April 2017

    LADDER UNSUITABLE FOR IVY CLEARING TASK

    Electricity supplier fined £900,000 after linesman ladder fall

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    ABSENCE OF ASBESTOS SURVEY PUT FIRMS IN COURT

    Contractor and removal firm jointly responsible for failings

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    WORKING WELL TOGTHER DESIGNER CDM EVENT

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    INDUSTRY BODIES STRUCTURE MEWP SAFETY ALERTS

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    ASPHALT MIXER CLAIMS FINGERS OF WORKMAN

    Guarding on mixing machine below the safety standard required

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    FATALITY: SECOND WINDFARM DEATH IN TWO WEEKS

    Workman fell on operational windfarm under maintenance

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    Posted on 3rd April 2017

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 29th MAR 2017

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    Posted on 29th March 2017

    UTILITY COMPANY CONVICTED AFTER FALL

    Workman died when fall protection lanyard accidentally severed

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    Posted on 28th March 2017

    INTENDED SYSTEM UNSAFE … AND NOT FOLLOWED

    Principal contractor and partner failed to protect from roof fall hazard

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    Posted on 28th March 2017

    DRAMATIC RESCUE FROM HEIGHT CAUGHT ON VIDEO

    Painter in US saved by fall arrest and rescued after platform failure

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    Posted on 28th March 2017
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