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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


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UK Directors take Leadership on Health and Safety Guidance

November 2007

Directors in the United Kingdom have taken the initiative in drawing up their own practical, common sense health and safety guidelines. These will remind Directors across organisations of all sizes it is their responsibility to lead on health and safety and establish polices and practices that make it an integral part of their culture and values. The UK Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) published on the 29 October 2007 'Leading health and safety at work' written by directors, for directors.

Supporting the new guidance Health and Safety Minister Lord McKenzie of Luton said, "The health and safety of employees is a moral and ethical obligation for each and every employer and this must be driven home from Board level. Only this way will we ensure that health and safety is taken seriously. This guidance clearly sets out the agenda for effective leadership of health and safety."

New Chair of HSC, Judith Hackitt agreed: "It is visible leadership from the top of an organisation which truly makes for an effective health and safety culture which in turn delivers good health and safety performance and much more. I am still confounded by the number of people who see 'health and safety' as a barrier to doing things, as experience and evidence shows that the reverse is true.

"The challenge before us is changing behaviour. This guidance makes it clear what directors need to do but it is their action and delivery which will really count".

Director General of the IoD, Miles Templeman, added: "The Institute of Directors (IoD) believes that it's vital that board members lead the approach of their organisation to health and safety, whatever the environment they operate in.

"Too often health and safety are words used as excuses by organisations that have not developed their thinking in this area. The IoD hopes that the new guidance can help organisations integrate health and safety into business decisions in an appropriate way, not one that stifles appropriate activity."

The guidance is written 'by directors for directors' and offers them straightforward practical advice on how to; Plan, Deliver, Monitor and Review, health and safety in the workplace.

Production of the guidance was overseen by an IoD led steering group with nominees from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Local Government Association (LGA), National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), NHS Confederation, Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Warwick Law School, University of Warwick

The IoD (Institute of Directors) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with upwards of 52,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum - from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.

The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities (including ten UK regional centres [three in London, Reading, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Belfast] and one each in Paris and Brussels), conferences, networking events, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services and a comprehensive Information Centre. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors - Chartered Director - as well as running specific board-level and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.

In addition, the IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to government and key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include ministers, constituency MPs, Select Committee members and senior civil servants. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media.