Vol. 1, Issue 9 (Sep 00) Department of the Enviroment, Transport & The Regions, News Release 402.

  • Tough new national targets to prevent up to 3,000 work-related injuries and deaths were recently unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister June 2000.

John Prescott said “For years we have had targets to cut deaths on the road, but never for safety at work. We are setting targets to improve safety at work for the first time. Our record has improved over the years, but we owe it to ourselves now and to future generations to make the workplace a better environment”.

Targets have been set: -

  • To cut deaths and major injury accidents by 10% by 2010,
  • to reduce the rate of work related ill-health by 20% by 2010,
  • to cut working days lost due to ill-health by 30% by 2010,
  • and to achieve half of the improvement by 2004.

To achieve the targets the Deputy Prime Minister outlined forty four action points. We have included some of those in this current “NEWS BRIEF”.

Tougher penalties to deter law breakers – prison sentences for most offences, maximum fines in the lower courts increased.

“Innovative” penalties will be considered, such as fines related to turnover, prohibition of bonuses or managers suspended without pay.

Director responsibility – it is vital that businesses know their responsibilities. Ministers intend to use legislation and a Code of Practice to assign health and safety responsibility to a named Director or responsible person of similar status.

“Name and Shame” – a new annual report to “name and shame” companies convicted that year.

“Good Health is Good Business – health and safety breakdowns cost society up to £18 billion a year – 2.6% of GDP.

Bill Gallaghan said (Health and Safety Commission) – “Health and safety at work should be a core requirement of business activity, not an inconvenient ‘add-on’. As far as I am concerned, those who cannot manage health and safety, cannot manage. We need to create a positive health and safety culture, which sees business go beyond the statutory minimum”.

Up to 25 million working days are lost every year as a result of work-related accidents and ill-health. Around two million people suffer from work related ill health.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 news