These case studies show how organisations have successfully involved their workforce in managing health and safety. They demonstrate that businesses with good worker involvement achieve better performance in health and safety, which in turn increases productivity and reduces costs.
When the culture of health and safety became Bardsley Construction's number one concern, they set up a Health and Safety Consultation Committee and sought elected representatives of employee safety at site level to liaise with on-site workforce and management.
Devonport Royal Dockyard committed to changing their health and safety culture using a number of initiatives to get the whole workforce involved in managing health and safety issues, ranging from working at height to radiation.
A truck manufacturer in the north-east wanted to capitalise on the knowledge of their workers in managing noise and vibration issues but knew they would have to rise to the challenge if they were to reap the benefits.
BT has over 100,000 employees working in six different lines of business, spanning 170 countries. Full engagement is always a challenge, but BT sought to address health and wellbeing issues affecting their workforce by getting them involved.
Springfield Fuels, a nuclear fuel fabrication facility, ensures everyone on site is involved when making decisions about their employees' health and wellbeing. Their partnership approach has resulted in joint working groups, joint accident investigations and other effective initiatives because they recognise that everyone has a part to play.
The Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) has a long-standing policy of partnership and co-operation between employers and employees on health and safety matters. Although the Union firmly believes in the value of health and safety committees, it warns that many organisation jump too quickly when putting together such committees without appropriate preparation.
The University of Leeds launched a revitalisation programme in partnership with campus trade unions to bring about significant and lasting improvements to health and safety performance.
More case studies published by the Health and Safety Commission show how worker involvement has contributed to improvements in health and safety and benefited business.
Significant reductions in workplace accidents were realised when HSE, employers' federations and trade unions developed a common approach. For example:
Behind all these success stories are joint initiatives between managers and trade unions which helped make major improvements in health and safety standards.