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Foreword by the Chair of the Commission


I am pleased to present the Health and Safety Commission's Strategic Plan for 2001 - 2004. This plan sets our strategic direction for health and safety activity in Great Britain for the next 3 years.

Our strategy is a modernising one. First, it concentrates on outcomes - what we plan to achieve, not what we plan to do. And what we want to achieve must be appropriate to the new economy as well as the old.

Second it looks beyond our traditional role of preventing harm. Our task for the future is no less than making all work whether in a foundry, a call centre, a trench in the road, or a care home a better, safer and healthier place to be.

Third it commits us to continuous scrutiny of our own effectiveness. We must be clear about what works, what works best and what is not worth the effort.

Finally our strategy sets out how we wish to work with you and other stakeholders. Independent public bodies such as the Health and Safety Commission depend on public trust. Unless we are open in our business, unless we are self critical where that is justified, and unless we are responsive, not defensive with our stakeholders and public, we do not deserve your trust. That gives us a set of key strategic objectives about how we work with you. This Plan is part of that agenda.

We want to work with everyone who has an interest in health and safety in Great Britain - with employers, employees, trades unions, trades associations, small firms, local authorities, consumer bodies and others. Effective partnership is crucial particularly at the workplace where safety representatives have a key role to play.

An evolving strategy

This plan has for the first time been developed in an open way. Both the overall structure and the detailed programmes, have been shared with stakeholders. During the life of this plan we will be actively undertaking further discussions on the collective strategy to improve standards of health and safety. We are conscious that we are not reaching everyone we need to and we will be stepping up our efforts to engage those groups who have not traditionally been involved, ethnic minorities, small businesses, contractors and sub contractors, mobile workers, part time workers and many others.

The first Commission open meeting on 15 January 2001 was part of a process for taking views on what we should be doing. The discussions at that event were valuable. Particular themes which emerged included the importance of education and the challenges small firms face. I hope we have satisfactorily reflected in this plan the importance which our stakeholders clearly attach to these areas. Another clear theme was the challenge of the choices we have to make in prioritising our activity. We will continue with further open meetings during the life of this Plan.

For the first time this plan is produced as a free document and is freely available on the Health and Safety Executive web site, we wish to make it as easy as possible for all our stakeholders, both present and those we wish to engage in the future, to become involved in the development of our plans and priorities and to work with us to achieve shared goals. We cannot guarantee to take on board every point but we do guarantee to look at any points raised, think about them, and let you know the result.

Your contribution

We are looking for you to do four things.


This Strategic Plan, will not be a static document. We will issue an annual business plan setting out what we will do for each year. This will take its starting point from our consultative process, which we will continue. We are happy to receive feedback at any time and that feedback will be taken into account in thinking about the contents of each annual business plan. We have an ambitious agenda for action for the Plan, and an ambitious process to manage. We may not get it all right first time. I am keen to learn from the process and I would like you to help.

If you wish to provide feedback on the Strategic Plan please write to Robert Vaughan, 9 South Wing, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS.

Signature of Bill Callaghan Bill Callaghan
Updated 2010-03-26