With the ink still drying on the pages of the Report on the Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Arco sponsored Health and Safety 2014: Improving Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare forum offered delegates a unique opportunity to hear from representatives of organisations at the forefront of health and safety management.

Judith Hackitt opened the conference with a presentation on the HSE’s role in delivering health and safety reform. She told delegates that whilst the statistics show an 11% drop in major injuries and 23 fewer fatalities in the last year, everyone who is part of the health and safety system is focussed on real risks.

Although the triennial review concluded that the HSE should continue to operate as an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) and all its functions should be retained, it suggested that there may be opportunities for commercial collaborations to develop in the delivery and sharing of advice and guidance. The HSE has been asked to examine commercial models and to review the make-up of the HSE Board, in order to ensure it has the right skills to oversee efficiencies and commercial income generating options.

Thomas Martin, Arco’s Joint Managing Director took up the theme. In Arco’s submission of evidence to the Review it recommended that outside of its core business of regulation and enforcement, there is a strong case for allowing the HSE to work more closely with private and voluntary organisations in order to deliver on its mission. Thomas Martin said: “The Review recognised some of the key recommendations we made in our submission, namely that there is potential for the HSE to be more commercial in its outlook and delivery and to increase the pace of its work by developing partnerships with organisations like Arco. With our expertise in making work a safer place, we are well placed to work with the HSE in the delivery of awareness-raising campaigns, safety research, consultancy or inspections.

“We hope that as a result of the HSE Review, there will be more opportunities for us, and others to support the HSE in its efforts to guide and enable businesses to do the right thing.”

Collaborations of this type could see 2014 as the beginning of a greater dissemination of health and safety messages ultimately creating an even safer working environment.

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