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Health and Safety - an evolutionary process? Cornerstone or millstone?

July 2003
Sheila Pantry, OBE

A newly published document from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) entitled "Strategic Thinking - work in progress" calls for ideas to help them in their thinking on the strategic direction of occupational health and safety over the next 10 years. The timescale is short - replies needed back by 13 August 2003. You can send ideas by email: sid.consult@hse.gsi.gov.uk or by using the feedback form on www.hse.gov.uk/consult/live.htm or alternatively send a written response to HSE Strategy, Strategy and Intelligence Division, 8NW, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS, UK.

The strategy for health and safety in Britain needs to keep evolving in order to keep ahead, or at least, maintain pace with the changing working environment. This is how it should be in all other countries. HSE's vision is to gain recognition of health and safety as a cornerstone of a civilised society, and with that achieve a record of workplace health and safety that leads the world. Since 1830s, yes the 1830s, Britain has been moving workplace health and safety along, but much still needs to be done - with over 40 million working days lost to injury and ill health every year there is much room for improvement. Britain has a good safety record, but certainly does NOT lead the world in occupational health. It is in this area that more efforts will be needed as the workplace new and emerging challenges continue to appear. Training and awareness of health in the workplace is much needed.

The paper suggests 5 big issues that present the most significant opportunities and threats to occupational health and safety over the next 10 years:

HSE invites feedback on its thinking to date. Comments will contribute to a draft strategic plan for 2004-10 to be published as a consultation document in the early autumn

Meanwhile OSHWORLD continues to bring you news, publications, web sites that you will find useful in your daily work. Look at the latest additions to the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to 2005 to have training courses, symposiums and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects. Don't forget that on 3 November 2003 there will be a major conference on Food Safety in Europe FSE2003.

On 4 - 5 November 2003 Eurohse2003 takes place also in London, UK. This is a major event for all occupational health and safety practitioners and managers. Already bookings have been made for both conferences. So do not wait until it is too late to get into these important events.

Your OSHWorld Portal

Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a number of sources.

Remember to look at the Products and Services on this web site and see what is new and updated, such as Fire Worldwide which has attracted users not only from the UK but around the world. The guidance, advice, and the information in the legislation will help all those achieve a safer workplace. Over 2000 pages of full text has recently been added to the latest edition, plus thousands of new records in the bibliographic databases. See for yourself and take a free 30 trial - either via the Internet on CD-ROM. Contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, UK | Tel: +44 (0)1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0)1909 772829 | E-mail: sp@sheilapantry.com

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Hope you have a zero accident and incident-free year in 2003 in your workplace.