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Editorial

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If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident... survey says
"Safety should be a higher priority for bosses"

Sheila Pantry OBE
May 2008

Research released for International Worker's Memorial Day by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), reveals that a large number of bosses put other business concerns ahead of worker safety, that's according to their staff.

When asked to rank their bosses business priorities, 31 per cent felt that keeping customers and clients happy was their boss's top concern. A further 26 per cent believe their boss sees getting work done on time as most important, while another 23 per cent say making money is the main goal of their employer. Only seven per cent said that making sure employees are not hurt or made ill by their work was their boss's main priority.

The UK YouGov survey commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Europe's largest health and safety professional body, found that 56 per cent of employees felt health and safety was important to their boss, although 14 per cent felt it was not.

Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of employees surveyed said they felt health and safety either saved lives or meant people didn't get ill or hurt at work and the majority don't think it's about red tape, silly European laws or stopping people getting on with their lives!

Lord McKenzie, Minister responsible for Health and Safety, said that health and safety was something all employers needed to take seriously: "There is a strong business case for responsible health and safety at work and some employers clearly fail to take seriously the risks that many of their employees face each day.

"The UK Government considers that the amount of workplace accidents and illness caused by work is unacceptable. We are committed to tackling the toll of workplace ill-health, injury and death and call on all employers to ensure that their workforce stays healthy."

Ray Hurst, the president of IOSH, commented: "These workers views suggest that there's still a minority of employers out there who simply don't give a damn about their staff. There are some who still think it's okay to cut corners and put their staff at risk, and that's not acceptable. While the vast majority of bosses do take health and safety seriously, workers feel some do not.

"Those who think like that are wrong. The consequences of serious accidents, in which people may be killed or maimed, can affect workers, their families and bosses for the rest of their lives. And of course, there are also the legal and business effects, such as facing the full force of the law, the damage to reputation, the loss of business and increased insurance costs.

"Most people questioned in these surveys are quite clear that health and safety is important to them. It's time all bosses started to treat health and safety with the importance it deserves. Everyone should appreciate that without health and safety, people can and do get seriously hurt or killed at work."


OSH UPDATE - are you using it? If not, why not?

More information on health and safety at work - not only from Europe but around the World, including advice and guidance, legislation and much more can be found by checking out the OSH UPDATE electronic collection of information sources. Seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice from around the world. Best practices, case studies, journal articles, reports and knowledge of systems are in OSH UPDATE.

Also you may find FIREINF www.fireinf.com that is the world's premier collection of validated, authoritative fire and fire related information and contains two major collections. For those individuals and organisations that do not subscribe to a range of journals/magazines this is one way of ensuring that the latest news, developments and trends are available.

The 5 Full Text Collection databases containing thousands of pages of full text information (about 12,000 pages added in 2007) and The Bibliographic Collection has 7 databases which contain over 267,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources, all of which may be easily accessed. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution - contains references to over 4000 fire and fire related standards.

This long established collection started in 1997 as Fire Worldwide and then expanded into Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide. From 2007 the collection continues to expand with the new software and host platform as Fireinf and aims to help all those seeking information on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, good practices and research.

Fireinf is continuously enlarged as new information is published.

Why not try OSH UPDATE and FIREINF for yourself? Take a 15 day free trial to these collection!
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OSHWORLD - your portal to some of the best OSH web sites in the world

It is always good to review health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures on a regular basis. It is also important that the practices and systems in the workplace are constantly reviewed and if necessary, improved. This review may also indicate training requirements and updates and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of charge OSHWORLD can help you. Look at the latest additions to the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to the end of 2008 and beyond to have training courses, symposiums and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects.

Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details - where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that I can add them to the Diary.


OSHWORLD's FOCUS this month looks at the Trade unions demand good occupational health for all workers.

Try these Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. 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 worldwide sources.

Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites which you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. avian flu and the workplace.

Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources - so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.

Click onto the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.

Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD - your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites - www.sheilapantry.com and why not make a free entry about your company's products in www.shebuyersguide.com.

Don't work harder - work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in 2007 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2008!