A big welcome to the April edition of the LAU Newsletter. In line with the tradition of ‘Spring cleaning’, we are reviewing arrangements to improve the way we communicate information and news regarding local authority health and safety enforcement. Over the coming months we will be contacting you to ask for your views on a range of communication tools such as the LAU newsletter, the HSE-LAU website and the HELex intranet. If you have any comments in the meantime, please do forward them to me.
Continuing the theme of new beginnings, April sees the merger of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to form a single national regulatory body, responsible for promoting the cause of better health and safety at work. The merged body will be called the Health and Safety Executive and will provide greater clarity and transparency whilst maintaining its public accountability. This month also sees the introduction of the revised Section 18 Health and Safety at Work Act Standard on enforcement. This will apply to both local authorities and HSE’s Field Operations Directorate. It should promote improved consistency between all health and safety regulators. The end of March saw the publication of the review of the health of Britain’s working-age population and the impact that ill health has on government, the economy and society by Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work. Further details of all of these stories are in the Newsletter.
We also said a few goodbyes during March. Three Partnership Liaison Officers, Jan Stocks (Midlands), Marietta Gill (South West) and Gary Howells (South East) have left HSE. They all made a fantastic contribution to the HSE/LA Partnership and I know that they will be missed.