Worker involvement: the elusive piece in the health and safety jigsaw

29 Jul

Nigel Bryson has been a stalwart over the past thirty years in promoting the immense benefits of actively involving workers in preventing workplaces injuries and ill health occurrences. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Nigel for the past ten years. The British Safety Council is honoured that Nigel regularly speaks at our events and ones that we partner. It is fair to say that the hundreds who have heard him never fail to be moved by his passion and persuasion.

You never quite know what you are going to get from Nigel in terms of what he will use to highlight the cost of not involving workers and the massive benefits produced when you do. Quite simply Nigel grabs your attention, engages your emotions and presents you with the stark evidence. In his words, “Workers are not the problem: workers are the solution to health and safety problems”.

Nigel has now brought a mass of material together in his new book, “Zero harm: worker involvement. The missing pieces”. Just reading his foreword, “Workers dying to live”, reminded me that for many people the consequences of workplace injury and ill health are not remote but have touched them directly and continue to impact on them and their families. Nigel was deeply affected by his father’s work as a trade union official and the memory of his father having to visit the bereaved families of dead workers. One such instance was a visit to the wife of a worker killed in a quarrying accident. The woman still harboured a faint hope that her husband would come walking through the door. She said to Nigel’s Dad, “You know Mr Bryson there wasn’t even a body to bury.” To obtain a copy of this book or talk to Nigel about his work in promoting worker involvement e-mail him at

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