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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

    CHILD INJURED BY WALL COLLAPSE INCIDENT

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    Posted on 18th February 2019

    BOTTLE JACK SUPPORT FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Director sentenced alongside company over death of engineer

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    Posted on 18th February 2019

    TEMPORARY WORKS FAILURES CAUSED FATAL FALL

    Platform not designed and system for installation and inspection inadequate

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    Posted on 18th February 2019

    SOLVENT IGNITED DURING FLOOR CLEANING WORKS

    Flammable solvent fire fought with water spreading fire further

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    Posted on 13th February 2019

    INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF SCAFFOLD ON TO SCHOOL

    Scaffold not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads

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    Posted on 13th February 2019

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 13th FEB 2019

    hselogo1Latest online register of prosecutions and enforcement notices

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    Posted on 13th February 2019

    OIL DRUM EXPLODED DURING HOT CUTTING WORK

    Firm fined £400k after drum lid ejected causing loss of leg

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    Posted on 12th February 2019

    ROOFLIGHT FALL ON NUCLEAR POWER SITE

    Energy generating company and maintenance contractor fined

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    Posted on 12th February 2019

    DIRECTOR PROSECUTED AFTER 6METRE ROOF FALL

    Untrained worker fell through rooflight in fragile asbestos roof

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    Posted on 12th February 2019

    HSE ALERT: MILD STEEL WELDING CANCER RISK

    HSE announces enforcement action change based on new cancer evidence

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    Posted on 11th February 2019

    LORRY MOUNTED LIFTING OPERATION PROVED FATAL

    Steel staircase toppled from vehicle after sling snagged

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    Posted on 7th February 2019

    DIRECTOR AND BUSINESS IN COURT OVER DEATH

    Scaffold not priced for on domestic roof-line refurbishment work

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    Posted on 6th February 2019

    FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT HAZARD PROTECTION MISSING

    Two businesses prosecuted after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight

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    Posted on 5th February 2019

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    FINGERS CRUSHED BY METAL FOLDING MACHINE

    Steel cladding firm fined £600k over failure guard access to danger

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    ASBESTOS ILLEGALLY REMOVED AFTER SURVEY

    Surveyor pricing asbestos work found contractor jumped the gun

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    SITE DUMPER PRECAUTIONS FAILED TO PREVENT DEATH

    Contractor fined £600k for poor management of vehicle/people interface

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    BUILDER EXPOSED RESIDENTS TO POISONING HAZARD

    Prison term for builder who put three at risk from carbon monoxide

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    POOR SEPARATION OF VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS

    Logistics company fined £150,000 after driver suffers serious injuries

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    Posted on 4th February 2019

    £1MILLION FINE OVER VEHICLE RISK MANAGEMENT

    Death of workman exposed uncontrolled vehicle manoeuvring

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    Posted on 25th January 2019

    ACCREDITATION IS ONLY ONE WAY TO CONFIDENCE

    HSE publishes guidance on demonstrating CDM 2015 competence

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    Posted on 24th January 2019

    PRECAUTIONS ON PAPER LACKING IN PRACTICE

    Fatal fall through opening in concrete slab during work with breaker

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    Posted on 24th January 2019

    HSE TARGETS HEALTH ON LONDON PROJECTS

    Regulator starts inspection ‘blitz’ on construction sites

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    Posted on 23rd January 2019

    WORKMAN FELL FROM UNSECURED LADDER

    Industrial cladding company failed to assess and control WAH

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    Posted on 18th January 2019

    SCAFFOLDER FELL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT

    Fall through roof leaves workman with life-changing injuries

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    Posted on 18th January 2019
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