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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 12th DEC 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

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    Posted on 12th December 2018

    HSE SAFETY ALERT: TOWER CRANE BRAKES

    Collapse of tower crane jib in high winds prompts HSE warning

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    Posted on 11th December 2018

    VISITING ENGINEER CRUSHED BY SCAFFOLD TUBES

    Principal contractor “signed off” contractor storage arrangements

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    Posted on 11th December 2018

    CONCRETE EJECTED BY PUMPING UNIT CLAIMED LIFE

    Company and director failed to train and supervise pumping operations

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    Posted on 5th December 2018

    REFRESHED GUIDANCE ON FITNESS TO OPERATE PLANT

    Construction plant medical fitness Good Practice Guide

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    Posted on 4th December 2018

    MAJOR CONTRACTOR & LUL USED UNSAFE SYSTEM

    Work method to eliminate moving vehicle hazard not adopted

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    Posted on 4th December 2018

    OVERTURNING LORRY CAUSED DEATH OF DRIVER

    Groundworks project stockpiling arrangements not properly managed

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    Posted on 3rd December 2018

    FORTH BRIDGE LIFTING OPERATION NOT PLANNED

    Major project PC failed to plan, supervise and carry out lift safely

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    Posted on 3rd December 2018

    DEVELOPER FAILED ON ASBESTOS ASSESSMENT

    HSE inspection revealed refurb works without asbestos survey

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    POST DRIVER HAMMER CRUSHED HAND OF WORKMAN

    Unsafe system of work for vehicle crash barrier installation

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    WORKER FELL FROM LOFT THROUGH CEILING

    Major house builder lacked understanding of loft fragile surfaces risk

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    NEW SITE DUMPER SAFETY GUIDANCE ISSUED

    Construction plant sector concerns prompts CPA consults on draft

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    CCTV INSTALLER FELL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT

    Contractor failed to properly plan and control the risks

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    VISITOR DIED FALLING INTO CONCEALED BASEMENT

    Contractor failed to protect basement void on domestic project

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    Posted on 28th November 2018

    RACKING FALL REVEALED UNSAFE SYSTEM OF WORK

    European firm fined £300,000 after UK sub-contractor employee fell

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    Posted on 18th November 2018

    FAILURE TO ACT ON VIBRATION AND SILICA HAZARDS

    Worker health put at risk during stripping of furnace lining

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    Posted on 18th November 2018

    MAJOR FM FIRM FAILED TO MAINTAIN BACK-UP POWER

    Power loss at laboratory site created potential risk from biological agents

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    Posted on 18th November 2018

    IGNORING HSE PROHIBITIONS COST FIRM £250,000

    CDM 2015 and work at height requirements repeatedly breached

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    Posted on 16th November 2018

    ROOF COLLAPSED UNDER EXCESS LOADING

    Director and company fined over roof design failures

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    Posted on 11th November 2018

    FORK LIFT OVERTURNED IN SCAFFOLDING YARD

    Untrained operator suffered life changing crush injuries

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    Posted on 10th November 2018

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY ALERT: EFFECTS OF SCALE

    SCOSS issues alert after concerns disclosed over ‘large structures’

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    Posted on 7th November 2018

    ASBESTOS EXPOSED BY UNTRAINED WORKERS

    Contractor failed to act properly despite HSE intervention

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    Posted on 7th November 2018

    GAS MAIN STRIKE REPAIR CAUSED SEVERE BURNS

    Contractor excavator damage to gas pipe ends in £1.2m fine

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    Posted on 7th November 2018

    REBAR FELL FROM FLT IN UNSAFE LIFTING OPERATION

    Multiple fractures caused by inappropriate use of fork lift

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    Posted on 7th November 2018

    POORLY PLANNED LIFT DISMANTLE INJURED WORKMAN

    Counterweight or suspension rope struck worker in lift shaft

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    Posted on 1st November 2018
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