25 Jan Your comments will tame the monster
David Cameron’s recent controversial reference to the health and safety monster has provoked huge debate. It’s been a topic of much discussion at IOSH and IIRSM local safety groups as well as online where I’ve seen many fascinating responses from SHE practitioners.
Very emotive stuff
The Prime Minister’s reference to the “health and safety monster” got peoples backs up and many health and safety practitioners feel that they’re being wrongly blamed for poor management decisions. The types of decisions that make for headline stories of health and safety being used as an excuse to stop activities i.e. Cameron’s “albatross around the neck of British businesses.”
This government’s crusade to deregulate British industry may be necessary to get its wheels turning again, but the government should look to itself first as the cause of the current problem. Confused regulation and legislative framework is the product of mismanagement by successive governments, not the actions of the health and safety industry. It’s honest SHE practitioners who are trying to help businesses make sense of it all!
The real story behind the headlines
Professional bodies such as IOSH and IIRSM have in fact welcomed the reports from Lord Young and Professor Lofstedt as an opportunity to overhaul this legislative mess. And in the many meetings of theirs that I’ve attended, there’s been a level of engagement that any company would be very happy to see.
Many committee members sacrifice their free time to sit on panels and attend meetings and should be congratulated for taking on this type of reflective exercise so well. I fear that many other professions wouldn’t be as open to such scrutiny and dramatic change without an uproar. And up until David Cameron’s use of the term ‘monster’ I’d only experienced positive and proactive discussion about the way health and safety regulation could be updated and improved.
Keep it up!
So as a specialist member of the IIRSM and a supporter of health and safety forums I say keep up these open, professional discussions and engagement. Because they ensure that the outcome remains a safe working environment for all. The knowledge and experience you bring to these discussions is key in influencing the final outcome, and it’ll be lost without your engagement.
Well done and thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on the various reports and articles that have been published. No matter how small your contribution, it increases knowledge and influences the discussion in the right direction.