HSE calls on firms to consult support services
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a review of its support for small firms and is inviting small businesses to take part in its consultation process.
Through a series of regional workshops to be held in January, the HSE will be looking at how it can work better with small firms to help them comply with health and safety regulation.
Results will not be unveiled until the second quarter of next year, but the HSE said it would be championing a ‘common–sense’ approach to health and safety at work. In addition to customising support for small firms, the HSE also wants to improve the competence of those responsible for health and safety in workplaces.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that small firms would undoubtedly welcome an increased focus on their needs. BCC senior policy adviser Kieran O’Keefe said:
“Unfortunately, firms can struggle to find reliable sources of information,”
“For small businesses with limited resources, clear and timely advice and guidance is an absolute necessity. This allows them to plan and implement the systems necessary to keep them on the right side of the law.” he added
According to the HSE, the review has been prompted by several factors, including a decline in the UK’s overall health and safety performance. HSE statistics revealed that 34 million working days were lost due to work–related ill health, or workplace injury, during 2007/2008. HSE chair Judith Hackett said:
“We all share the same mission — to prevent death, injury and ill health in our workplaces, but HSE cannot do this alone. This is why we are seeking support and involvement from all stakeholders to be part of the solution.”
To access the consultation document, visit the HSE website