Headlines: September 16th, 2004

Local councils have joined the Health and Safety Executive to issue a joint Statement of Intent setting out their commitment to improving how they work together to improve health and safety at work. The HSE issued the statement with Local Authorities’ Coordinators of Regulatory Services and said developing an effective partnership with local government in enforcing health and safety was one of the strategic themes of the its Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond.

The joint statement sets out the high-level commitments, providing the framework of objectives for the Strategic Programme and how to achieve its vision. The document includes working in partnership, improving communications, sharing information, examining the legal framework, developing arrangements for monitoring the work of enforcing authorities and working with other government departments.

The programme is still in its development phase but early activities have seen the piloting of joint initiatives, examination of existing examples of good practice, developing communications and the creation by the HSE of ‘partnership managers’ to work with local authorities.

Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission said improving health and safety needed a significant change in how HSE and local councils worked together. “The Statement of Intent sets out how we will do this and I am delighted that yet another step in the implementation of the strategy has been reached,” he said.
Derek Allen, Executive Director of LACORS also said the issuing of the joint statement marked a milestone in the process to improve health and safety enforcement by local government and the HSE and he was pleased that it emphasised that health and safety enforcement was a vital component of worker and public protection that successfully contributed to local community health and well-being.