Changing Attitudes Towards Health and Safety Measures in Order to Create Safer Working Environments for All

Health and safety procedures in the workplace can polarise opinion, some believing them to be valuable to ensuring that workers’ safety is properly monitored and improved, and others arguing that they are an unnecessary distraction for businesses. But understanding the full reasons behind their existence can sometimes be the reserve of qualified NVQ health and safety experts, and not the average worker, employer, or member of the public.

In Britain in 2010-11 there were 26,000 major work-related injuries, and the British Safety Council firmly believe that this number is far too high. They have launched their Working Well manifesto as part of an aim to win favour for sensible health and safety measures to be properly implemented in each workplace, believing that doing so can, in the words of the Council’s chief executive Alex Botha, have immense business, economic and social benefits.

Detractors may roll their eyes at this sort of initiative but Botha believes that, rather than allowing isolated stories picked up by the tabloids to dominate the public’s consciousness, a manifesto of this kind can help change attitudes so that both workers and employers more readily embrace good health and safety practices.

Currently, qualifications such as the NVQ level 5 in health and safety are mainly attained by health and safety professionals. The idea is not to put more stringent measures on businesses, or force more managers to attain those NVQ level 5 qualifications, but to change the culture so more are prepared to gain such accolades. In Botha’s words: focus on what we need to do in our society to better understand risk.

To do this, the Council are looking to get high profile figures and influential politicians to back their scheme. The eventual aim is that for everyone, even without the relevant NVQ, health and safety measures are viewed as vital to ensuring safe working environments long into the future.

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