Children banned from playing with yo-yos or conkers in the playground, graduates stopped from launching their mortar boards in the air in exhilaration on their graduation day. Does this sound familiar?
Yes you’ve guessed it… the endless stream of ‘bogus’ health and safety rules that we comment on in office banter most weeks. For those of us who are working in the health and safety profession I’m sure it makes us roll our eyes again and again. Perhaps health and safety myths are becoming passé and now is the time to transform the public image of health and safety in the UK and hold it in the high regard it rightly deserves.
The Safety and Health Expo is the Launchpad for Health and Safety Week (16-20 June) in the UK to celebrate the significant strides forward in health and safety in the last 40 years. The facts illustrate the achievements since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974: an 85% reduction in fatal accidents to excellence in health and safety standards showcased at prolific events such as the London Olympics 2012.
Lawrence Waterman, OBE, Director of Health and Safety, Battersea Power Station Development Company has launched Health and Safety Week at the ExCeL. London is now the home to this global Safety & Health Expo that has witnessed a recent growth of 30% in its new location. The best and most innovative occupational health and safety products and services are demonstrated, interacted with, talked about even danced in ‘live’ on stage to a ‘wowed’ and admiring audience. This is the first year the Safety & Health Expo encompasses the IOSH Conference, CoreSkills+ workshops, LiftEx, Driver Safety Zone to name a few of the diverse seminars taking place to inform and educate. The Expo is the perfect environment to promote Health and Safety Week.
The UK’s key health and safety bodies IOSH, NEBOSH, BOHS among others have united to promote Health and Safety Week. With a wide range of workshops at the Safety & Health Expo, the British Occupational Hygiene Society aims to raise positive awareness not only on the reduction of accidents at work but also on the challenge of reducing the numbers of deaths from occupational diseases. 13,000 people die every year from illnesses that have developed as a result of their work including cancer and lung diseases.
In the future diverse projects and campaigns for organisations to engage with, will be arranged to build the impetus towards this week each year so we can continue to recognise and celebrate the worthy achievements that protect and save lives.
So watch this space mid-June every year and let’s overturn the public perception of the elf’n safety industry and its red tape. Let’s applaud the overwhelming great statistics reflecting the excellence achieved from a positive health and safety culture recognised and adopted in regions worldwide.