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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

    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO IDENTIFY ASBESTOS PRESENCE

    ACMs disturbed during works and firm failed to take suitable actions

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    FALL THROUGH ROOF ON LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING

    Fragile rooflight fractured when workman ‘misplaced footing’

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    YOUNG WORKER POSED SPECIAL RISK TO CONTROL

    Conviction highlights duty to young persons and the vulnerable

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    TOWER DEFECTS AND UNSAFE SYSTEM CAUSED DEATH

    Maintenance supervisor fell to his death through roof opening

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    UK MAJOR FINED £1/2m OVER HAVS RISK FAILURES

    Danger caused by poor management of vibrating hand tool risk

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    Posted on 21st June 2018

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 20th JUNE 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

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    Posted on 20th June 2018

    DIRECTOR FAILED COMPLY WITH HSE PROHIBITION

    Precautions not taken to prevent excavation collapse and falling

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    Posted on 11th June 2018

    SCAFFOLD NOT TO INDUSTRY STANDARD OR DESIGN

    Specialist and contractor in court over unsafe work at height

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    Posted on 7th June 2018

    ROAD WORKER RUN OVER BY ROAD ROLLER

    Reversing alarm not working and warning light not fitted

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    Posted on 5th June 2018

    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

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    Posted on 5th June 2018

    FATALITY: ROAD WORKER DRAGGED ALONG ROAD

    Night shift worker loses life when struck by road sweeping vehicle

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    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Regulator enforcement database reveals few notices involve CDM PDs

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    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    PROPERTY MANAGERS FINED WITH CONTRACTOR

    Defendants failed to check for asbestos during soffit replacement works

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    Posted on 29th May 2018

    EXCAVATION CAUSED RETAINING WALL COLLAPSE

    Precautions not taken to secure stability of free-standing wall

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    Posted on 29th May 2018

    OVERHEAD CABLE STRIKE FIRM FINED £500,000+

    Inadequate system caused risk of harm despite lack of worker injury

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    Posted on 29th May 2018

    CDM 2015 PRINCIPAL DESIGNER FINED OVER FIRE RISK

    PD and PC failed to comply with CDM 2015 responsibilities

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    Posted on 23rd May 2018

    SENTENCING GUIDELINES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

    Lawyer argues guidelines undermine reduction in ‘regulatory burden’

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    Posted on 23rd May 2018

    PANEL STRUCK WORKMAN DURING LIFTING OPERATION

    Third party contractor falls victim of poor lift planning

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    Posted on 21st May 2018

    DIRECTOR LED HAZARDOUS WORK AT HEIGHT

    Three occasions when work lacked suitable and sufficient precautions

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    Posted on 21st May 2018

    RISK ASSESSED BUT CONTROLS FOUND WANTING

    Joiner fell through unprotected opening on roof of new building

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    Posted on 21st May 2018

    RIBA CRITICAL OF HACKITT REVIEW FINAL REPORT

    High rise residential review dismissed as “major missed opportunity”

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    Posted on 21st May 2018

    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS: THE ‘BIG THREE’

    HSE in-year fatalities for 2017/18 may indicate upward trend

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    Posted on 16th May 2018

    SCAFFOLDING SITE ACCIDENTS AT RECORD LOW

    NASC Annual Report reveals all time low in 2017 incidents

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    Posted on 14th May 2018

    DUMPER TRUCK HAND-BRAKE NOT MAINTAINED

    Workman injured when pinned against stack of concrete blocks

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    Posted on 14th May 2018
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