Our Founder James Tye believed that no one should be injured or made ill at work. He campaigned tirelessly to improve health and safety standards for over 40 years and in that time achieved some significant changes. But there is still work to do.
Fatalities and major injuries have reduced from thousands to hundreds, but people are still being killed and injured in Britain’s workplaces, and a great many more are becoming unwell, with the Labour Force Survey suggesting that 1.3 million people suffered a health issue caused or made worse by work during 2015/16.
I feel passionately that everyone has the right to go to work confident that they will return home fit and healthy at the end of the day. This is broadly accepted in most large organisations, but, health and safety is still often generally perceived as unnecessary bureaucracy preventing people from doing what they want or need to do.
2017 marks the 60th Anniversary of the British Safety Council. Looking back through the archives it’s clear to see the role that we have played in raising awareness of issues, championing proportionate and effective resolution of these, sharing information and supporting businesses. Provision of information, campaigning and engagement remain at the core of what we do today, and we will take the opportunity in our 60th year to reach out even further, promoting the benefits and business case for health and safety.
We will provide a special service for very small businesses and charities to ensure that they have ready access to resources to help them manage health as well as safety risks. This Supporter Offer will be launched in January.
We will also partner with our member companies across the UK to offer free health and safety awareness training to families, communities and voluntary groups, particularly those working with young people, to help people to understand their role in effectively managing health and safety risk.
We will conduct research to help identify and evaluate the health and safety challenges of tomorrow and share this information to help businesses prepare for the future.
2016 has been a turbulent year but there is no doubt that there are challenging times to come as we enter formal discussions over our withdrawal from the EU. People are at the core of every successful business so it makes absolute sense to focus on looking after the people in order to build resilience in the business. We will continue to share experience and best practice to support this process.
Back in 1980 James Tye established the British Wellness Council. He was ahead of his time and fatalities and serious injuries continued to eclipse health issues for another decade. There is now a growing awareness of the importance of managing health and wellbeing at work, but it’s an evolving issue. Health and wellbeing will be a key focus for the British Safety Council in 2017 and I will take great pride in driving forward the work so ably commenced by my illustrious predecessor.
Keep an eye on Safety Management over the coming months for more on our Anniversary, and please continue to promote our film competition to young people in your network (britsafe.org/SUSS/risk).
We will be launching a new website featuring our archive of historic material, so stay posted.
Finally, I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, safe and healthy Christmas and New Year!
Chief Executive | British Safety Council