'Donít overcomplicate risk assessments!'' says HSE, backing the European Campaig
Date: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 @ 09:42:54 BST
Topic: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) News

Yesterday the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced its support for the two year, European Campaign for Safety and Health at Work - the theme of which will be risk assessment. The key aim of the campaign is to demystify the risk assessment process to show that it is not complicated, bureaucratic or a task only for experts.

Speaking at the launch event in London, Minister for Health and Safety, Lord McKenzie of Luton said, "We are delighted to be supporting this Europe-wide campaign for the next two years. In Britain there are over 200 fatalities at work each year, thousands more die as a result of work-related injuries and ill-health. The great majority of this harm can be prevented by taking practical precautions. A straightforward risk assessment is key to identifying those precautions."

Geoffrey Podger, HSE Chief Executive said, "Our message to employers is to keep your risk assessment simple and fit for purpose, make it a living document and involve all the major people in acting on it. Risk assessment is not a bureaucratic paperwork exercise; it is about practical steps you need to take to protect people and get the job done safely."

As part of the campaign, during European Week on October 20-24, HSE will be working with EEF on a series of regional seminars.  It will also be working in partnership with the TUC to deliver training events on risk assessment for safety representatives. 

The campaign is supported by clear advice, provided by HSE and the European Agency, to help businesses make informed decisions, concentrating attention on the risks that cause real harm and suffering. There is a no-nonsense guide, '5 steps to risk assessment' as well as a range of industry-specific example risk assessments. The examples help small and medium sized employers understand what is - and is not - expected of them.

Further Information

There will be a number of events taking place across the UK for the European Campaign:

Event Date Location
Launch of the European Campaign 2008 24 June 2008 London
European Week 20-24 October 2008 Throughout UK
Seminars hosted by EEF 20-24 October 2008 Nationwide
Training events for Safety Representatives hosted by TUC 20-24 October 2008 To be confirmed

To accompany the European Campaign, excellence in health and safety will be rewarded at the European Good Practice Awards 2008. The European Agency is now inviting nominations for the awards. Find out more by visiting: http://osha.europa.eu/en/campaigns/hw2008/awards

Further details and action packs for the European Campaign will be available from 24 June 2008 to download from HSE's campaign website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/campaigns/index.htm

All businesses face requirements in law to assess the health and safety risks in their workplace (from the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations). Some regulations outline specific risks they need to consider, such as those faced by users of computers (Display Screen Equipment Regulations); those from lifting and carrying things (Manual Handling Regulations); and those from chemicals (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations). All of these requirements apply in some way in most businesses. A record of the risk assessment must be written and kept under review.

For further extensive information on risk assessment, as well as tools, case studies and advice, please visit the HSE's Risk Management Website.

This article comes from Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA)

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