Hampshire County Council ‘sign up to sensible risk’ campaign to combat the growing number of myths that are undermining important health and safety legislation.Â The authority publicly signed up to ‘ten principles of sensible risk management’ which give organisations practical advice on what risk management should and should not be about.
Geoffrey Podger, HSE Chief Executive said:
“We’ve all heard the stories about health and safety banning hanging baskets or making children wear goggles to play conkers. This is not what we are about it is not what HSE wants, not what Hampshire County Council wants and not what the law requires.
“We want to focus our attention on practical steps that protect people from real risks that can lead to injury and death, we do not want to stop people from living their lives.”
“I call on all Local Authorities to follow the lead of Hampshire County Council and join with us in tackling this issue by publicly ‘signing up to sensible risk’. Together we can embed these principles into our working culture and ensure the decisions we make focus on the real task of saving lives.”
Hampshire County Council is one of the first local authorities to commit to a proportionate and focused approach to risk management.
Chief Executive of Hampshire County Council, Peter Robertson, said,
“Protecting the health and safety of our workers and the community we represent has always been a crucial issue for us. Over time the stories of health and safety gone mad has undermined the good work we and other councils do to protect vulnerable members of society.”
The HSE launched a set of key principles on sensible risk management in August 2006, to help people focus on real risks. This followed a series of stories about alleged ‘health and safety’ stopping people taking part in leisure activities etc. The campaign established 10 principles of sensible risk management, outlined below:
Sensible risk management is about:
* Ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected
* Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks, with a focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences
* Enabling innovation and learning not stifling them
* Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is likely to lead to robust action
* Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have to exercise responsibility Sensible risk management is not about:
* Creating a totally risk free society
* Generating useless paperwork mountains
* Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks
* Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed
* Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering
As part of the campaign, HSE has also launched the ‘myth of the month’ cartoon. Each month the HSE website carries a cartoon exposing the various myths about ‘health and safety’. These can be viewed HERE
More information on the HSE can be found HERE
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