IOSH is urging local authorities to commit to working closely with regulatory bodies to strengthen employee health and safety standards across Britain.
With many local authorities dealing with challenging environments that impact how they deliver regulatory services, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has developed a Statement of Commitment.
Individual local authorities can now commit to this, supporting collaboration with other bodies to deliver effective and correctly-targeted solutions to keep workers safe and healthy.
Launched in April, the statement has been endorsed by HSE’s Board, the Local Government Association, the Welsh Local Government Association and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland.
And now IOSH has joined the call on local authorities to publicly commit to the statement and embed the principles within their service plans. Head of policy and public affairs at IOS Richard Jones said, “It’s important that co-regulation is adequately resourced and effectively delivered, to ensure the quality and consistency of enforcement across the regulatory landscape. So, IOSH welcomes this joint-focus on promoting the benefits of good health and safety and the need to improve regulation and strengthen protection, particularly for vulnerable workers.
“We urge local authorities to publicly endorse the joint Statement of Commitment and embed its principles within their service plans.
“IOSH supports greater consistency of enforcement between HSE and local authorities and has previously called for ring-fenced funding for local authority occupational safety and health regulation, adequate training and resourcing of regulators and, over time, for a unified enforcement agency.”
Local authorities predominantly cover the retail, consumer services, entertainment and warehousing/supply chain sectors, which account for two-thirds of all business premises, around half of the total British workforce.
Figures collected by HSE show failures in the management of occupational health and safety in local authority-enforced business sectors result in more than 100,000 new cases of ill health, 5,000 major injuries and the deaths of around ten workers each year.
Many of those harmed are vulnerable workers not provided with reasonable workplace protection, and around 15 members of the public, including children are killed each year in avoidable incidents because of workplace activity.