The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the merger of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to form a single national regulatory body, responsible for promoting the cause of better health and safety at work from 1 April 2008.The merged body will be called the Health and Safety Executive and will provide greater clarity and transparency whilst maintaining its public accountability.
New HSE structure following the HSC/E merger
HSE will be a single national regulatory body responsible for promoting the cause of better health and safety at work. The ‘new’ HSE will retain its independent status, reflect the interests of employers, employees and local authorities and maintain commitment to service delivery.
It will be one organisation with a board of non-executive directors. There is no change in health and safety requirements, how they are enforced or how stakeholders relate to us as the health and safety regulator – no health and safety protections will be removed. Individual enforcement decisions will continue to be taken by operational and local authority staff.
The new board will take responsibility for determining policy and direction and will, over the coming months, be working on a strategy for the future of Health and Safety in Great Britain and HSE’s role within that. In particular, the new board will be revisiting our strategy to develop a longer-term view for the next 5 years, and will be publishing it towards the end 2008.
Having the non-executive directors responsible for the totality of the operation will mean everyone is subject to greater internal challenge, more clarity of focus and better cohesion overall, which will bring benefits to us all.
We believe that rational decision-making, based on both proper consultation of everyone with an interest, and also on appropriate evidence will allow HSE to make best use of the talents it has and be better able to defend ourselves against external criticism. In order to ensure that once decisions have been taken, we can all serve the new Executive effectively, we need to be sure that all relevant expertise is brought to bear. We need to ‘up our game’ to everyone’s advantage.
The Board will comprise Judith Hackitt as Chair and up to 11 members of the new Executive. Existing Commissioners are appointed as non-executive directors for the remainder of their term of office, and will continue to be appointed by the Secretary of State. The former board members of the Executive will become the Senior Management Team (SMT) which will be chaired by Geoffrey Podger as Chief Executive.
On 1 April 2008 the Pesticides Safety Directorate, an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) transferred to the Health & Safety Executive, becoming an internal agency of HSE. This move follows DEFRA's review of it's regulatory agencies in accordance with the recommendations of the 2005 Hampton Review of Regulators and follows a public consultation ending on 14 January 2008.
The transfer of PSD to HSE provides the opportunity to further explore the potential synergies between regulatory science and policy for chemicals, biocides, pesticides and detergents. Both organisations are committed to developing opportunities to share scientific and regulatory expertise to seek improvements in customer service and efficiencies.
DEFRA Ministers will continue to have overall strategic policy responsibility for pesticides and PSD will retain its distinct identity within HSE.
The recent HELA meeting took place 3 March 2008. The agenda, papers presented at the meeting and the final minutes are now available to view at:
A summary of the main discussion points and actions resulting from them is available here:
Hotelympia event newsletter
National Director for Health and Work, Dame Carol Black, has completed her review of the health of Britain’s working-age population and the impact that ill health has on government, the economy and society. Her final report ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ was published in late March and presented to Government. HSE and the core Health, Work and Wellbeing departments worked closely with Dame Carol on the review, and we will be involved in the Government’s formal response on the recommendations it made.
Effective management of employees’ rehabilitation and return to work after sickness absence will be a key requirement for manufacturers in their dealings with an increasingly ageing workforce.
This is one of the findings of a survey: “An Ageing Workforce—How are manufacturers preparing?” just published by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
Companies responding to EEF’s survey felt that older workers were more likely to be absent long-term when they were sick, a view consistent with findings reported in EEF’s sickness absence and rehabilitation survey, published in 2007.
A significant proportion of the manufacturers surveyed (30 per cent) were concerned that the number of days lost owing to absenteeism/sickness was likely to rise as the workforce became older. However, loss of specialist skills owing to retirement was a far greater concern, expressed by 76 per cent of respondents.
The manufacturing sector has a higher proportion of workers aged between 35 and 55 compared with the workforce as a whole, and fewer workers aged between 16 and 24.
“The shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing means it is all the more important to ensure that no one falls through the net for want of practical support from their employer in helping them back to work after sickness,” said Sayeed Khan, EEF’s chief medical adviser.
Companies are beginning to adapt to the challenges of an ageing workforce, particularly with regard to rehabilitation and return to work policies—12 per cent of those surveyed were either implementing these policies as an explicit response to the ageing of their workforce or were considering doing so.
EEF’s award-winning Managing Sickness Absence Toolkit offers advice and guidance on many of the issues linked to an ageing workforce. The toolkit combines expertise in HR, occupational health and the law to provide checklists, sample letters, forms and guides for line managers. It is available for £65 to members and £95 to non-members from EEF’s online bookstore at www.eef.org.uk.
For further information, please contact:
Tel. 0207 654 1569
The final report on HSE’s Hampton Implementation Review was published on 20 March 2008. It can be viewed at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/bre/inspection-enforcement/implementing-principles/reviewing-regulators/page44054.html
The report presents a generally positive view of HSE as an open and transparent regulator, well regarded by stakeholders, and acknowledges that in most respects, we are Hampton-compliant. The HSE Senior Management Team will consider the report on 2 April and update the new HSE Board at its next meeting.
As a transparent and accountable regulator with a clear focus on tackling the key causes of injury and ill-health at work, HSE recognises the need for regulators to achieve their regulatory objectives without imposing unnecessary burdens on those they regulate, as envisaged in the Government’s statutory code of practice for regulators (the Regulators’ Compliance Code). The link below points to a short statement we have published setting out how our Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS), developed in the mid 1990s, and other high-level policies meet the obligations set out in the Code.
These policies ensure HSE follows a risk-based, proportionate and targeted approach - consequently, no changes were needed to the way HSE regulates and enforces health and safety at work when the Code came into force on 6 April 2008.
HSE had a very successful stand at the Hotelympia event in London. The event is the biggest catering supplier event in the UK and all sections of the catering industry are represented. The stand was staffed with representatives from the Services, Transport and Safety Unit (STSU), Slips and Trips Programme Team, HSL, Dermatitis Programme Team and Alastair McGown and Surindar Dhesi from the local authorities.
Full details of the event can be found here: Hotelympia event newsletter [198KB]
NEBOSH is pleased to announce that holders of the revamped NEBOSH Environmental Diploma will be eligible for associate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth commented; “We worked closely with the IEMA on the redevelopment of the syllabus to ensure that it mapped to their requirements.”
She continued: “Since its launch in 1992, around 1500 people have achieved the Environmental Diploma. The revised Diploma reflects changes in both legislative requirements and best practice for those implementing systems to manage environmental risk for their organisation.”
Russell Foster, IEMA’s Chief Executive confirmed: “I welcome this initiative as IEMA Associate Membership will be available to all people completing the NEBOSH Specialist Diploma in Environmental Management from March 2008.”
He added: “The IEMA offers newly qualified Environmental Practitioners a network of fellow professionals and over 100 free regional events and conferences each year to help them with continuous professional development, as well as our membership magazine ‘The Environmentalist’ to help keep their knowledge up to date.”
This report and its research findings has identified different stages in the implementation of service transformation processes that have a significant effect on a range of different employees, from service heads to back office administrators.
The case studies, and the wider National Process Improvement Project (NPIP) experience, provide further evidence that Business Process Improvement (BPI) leads to better, more worthwhile and more productive activity. Where good practice approaches to involving staff directly in improving business process have been deployed, there has typically been improved morale, raised productivity and positive effects on levels of sickness absence.
To view the full report click on the link below:
Visit www.cieh.org/events/ for full information and details of offers running on some events
The new private water regulations: Meeting the challenges
Noise in the entertainment sector: meeting the challenges of compliance
A fresh approach to food safety training
An essential update to enhance your knowledge and training techniques
Health and Safety 2008: a new approach
Incorporating occupational health into your training delivery
The Legal Implications of Drains and Sewers - Explaining sewerage law and clarifying your legal knowledge
Noise as a Nuisance: Training on the new provisions
Addressing the Challenges of Conflict Resolution:An essential update for the workplace
Complying to the Corporate Manslaughter Act and the Health and Social Care Bill