Nigel Bryson to examine worker involvement at the Health and Safety ’11 show in Edinburgh

30 Aug

The greater the worker involvement, the better the health, safety and business performance of organisations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is so convinced of the evidence supporting this statement, that worker involvement is one of its current top three priority issues. Britain’s safety regulator also made increasing worker involvement one of the central aims of its revised Health and Safety Strategy in 2009.

As workers are often referred to as an organisation’s ‘greatest asset’ it could be assumed their employers treat them accordingly. Yet HSE estimates that 60% – yes, the majority – of workers are not consulted over health and safety when they should be. Consultation is the minimum legal duty on employers with regards to worker involvement. This means that large numbers of employers in Great Britain are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve their health and safety efficiency. They are also breaking the law, of course, by not consulting their staff.

Research for the government on worker engagement published in 2009 concluded that if the performance of the workforce is central to the success of an organisation, “whether or not the workforce is positively encouraged to perform at its best should be a prime consideration for every leader and manager, and be placed at the heart of business strategy”. Worker involvement should therefore be at the heart of business strategy, but 60% of employees in Great Britain are not even permitted the minimum legal consultation rights over their health and safety!

This situation must change if employers are going to get the best out of their workforce and overcome the many challenges facing organisations in the current recession. People support what they help create. At the Health and Safety ’11 – Scotland show in Edinburgh on the 8 September 2011 I will outline how organisations have successfully transformed their health, safety and business performance by greater worker involvement. Please come along and hear more – attendance is free (see www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk).

For those not able to get to Edinburgh my book Zero Harm Worker Involvement – the missing piece! covers the topic in detail and is available to order through the following website www.workerinvolvement.co.uk

About our guest blogger

Nigel Bryson is a health and safety consultant who specialises in helping companies improve their health, safety and business performance through better worker involvement. He is a former director of health and environment at the GMB trade union and has many years of experience in the field of health and safety.

He can be contacted at nigel@brysonconsulting.co.uk and will be on hand to answer questions on worker involvement following his talk at the Health and Safety ’11 – Scotland exhibition, where the British Safety Council is running a series of free educational seminars.

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One Response to “Nigel Bryson to examine worker involvement at the Health and Safety ’11 show in Edinburgh”

  1. rockfordgreeneinternational October 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Nigel makes excellent points about the role of workers in making the work place safer, but it’s important to remember that workers need to be prepared so that they can meaningfully participate in the dialog relative to safety. Too often workers are asked their opinions on the ways to make a job safer before they have been adequately trained in the job. In those cases the workers may be making good faith suggestions that are inappropriate simply because they lack sufficient training in the safest way to do a job.

    Phil La Duke, Rockford Greene Internatinoal

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