Tag Archives: Alex Botha

British Safety Council responds to HSE cost recovery consultation

24 Oct

The British Safety Council has submitted its views to HSE concerning its proposals to extend it power to charge for specific interventions including where action is taken by the regulator to address a material breach of health and safety law. The British Safety Council based its submission in part on the results of survey of its members and on the knowledge of health and safety regulation and management built up over the last fifty years. Generally, members were content with the proposal, recognising that HSE needs to address its costs and that in principle those who operate outside the law should contribute to the costs of regulatory action.

Alex Botha, the British Safety Council chief executive, said: “In our response we made clear that our members, in the main, felt that the compliant and committed had nothing to fear from these proposals – and were certain that this change would drive improvements and a higher level of compliance and consequently a reduction in workplace injuries and work-related ill health occurrences. Under present arrangements the non-compliant appeared to have an unfair business advantage by not making the investment necessary to effectively control the risk of injury and ill health.”

However concerns were raised by a small but significant number of members about how this change will impact on the regulator/duty holder relationship. Some thought it may create the conditions for a less open relationship between the two. The British Safety Council acknowledged HSE’s commitment to measure the impact of the proposed changes on the level of compliance. However it also though it necessary to measure any indirect impact on the incidence and number of workplace injury and work related ill health occurrences.

The new charging regime is planned to come into force in April 2012.


British Safety Council chief executive strengthens ties in India

6 Sep

Alex Botha with staff and apprentices at the Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, in Pune, India, where he presented certificates to six of 100 apprentices to successfully complete British Safety Council Entry Level health and safety training.

The British Safety Council’s chief executive Alex Botha has met some of the world’s most successful multinational businesses in India this week, including Tata Motors, Reliance Industries, ITC and Larsen and Toubro to build on our established strong relationships, develop further business opportunities and explore collaboration on CSR and public benefit projects.

The British Safety Council members in India have been notable over a number of years for their success in both the Sword of Honour and the International Safety Awards.

Alex said: “It is noteworthy that four of the five winners of the inaugural Globe of Honour in 2010 were ITC subsidiaries in India. We have 250 corporate members in India who have achieved 5 Star and OHSAS 18001 success and are leaders in the management of health and safety and the environment.

“A number, including Tata and Reliance, have comprehensive corporate social responsibility programmes which are integral to their business values and cover many issues, including education, health, sustainability, social inclusion and business development, apprenticeships and leadership.

“We are committed to working with our members in India and elsewhere to help improve the performance of their own organisations and share best practice internationally. Increasingly, our global reach and influence with some of the biggest enterprises in the world is becoming much more significant and our expertise respected and sought after.

“Our work with large multinationals increasingly mean we can collaborate in partnership to make a huge difference to the safety culture in countries where traditionally worker safety has been a low priority or no priority at all. In China and India there are significant safety issues to address but by using the example of their exceptional performers we can achieve notable improvements.

“Visionary Indian headquartered companies such as Tata, Reliance, Larsen and Toubro and ITC are leading the way in worker safety innovation and are working closely with us to raise standards across all of the sectors and territories in which they operate. Just these four companies represent market capitalisation well in excess of £100 billion. They occupy a powerful and hugely influential section of the global marketplace and channelling that pre-eminence into occupational health and safety and environmental and business sustainability can and will make a major difference in the workplace in all of the developed and many of the developing nations, territories, sectors and markets.

“I am convinced that together we are capable of going a long, long way towards achieving our vision that no one should be killed, injured or made ill by their work. It is an enormous challenge but one we can and must aim for if we are to embed within every company, business unit, manager and shop floor operative the belief that safety comes first. Behavioural changes are key to this and influencing the way people think and act is becoming the new business imperative.”

The British Safety Council operates in more than 50 countries serving 7,500 corporate members, offering a range of internationally validated audits, awards and qualifications aimed at raising standards.

British Safety Council welcome Labour frontbencher Andy Slaughter MP

2 Sep

Alex Botha, the chief executive of the British Safety Council, earlier this week welcomed Andy Slaughter, the Labour MP for Hammersmith and frontbench spokesperson on justice, to the organisation’s head office. 

Andy was meeting new faces and renewing acquaintances with an organisation he has known well for the last thirty years. Alex took the opportunity to brief Andy on what the British Safety Council is doing to deliver its vision that no one should be killed or made ill by their work both through its advisory, audit and training services and its funding of basic qualifications in health and safety awareness. Much of the discussion focused on the review of health and safety legislation being led by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt and the reforms to legal aid currently progressing through Parliament on which Andy is leading for Labour in the House of Commons.

Andy reflected on the fifteen months he spent as a journalist at the British Safety Council on graduating from university in the early ‘80s before going on to qualify as a barrister.  This was at a time when the new regulatory framework for health and safety enacted in 1974 was starting to impact particularly in preventing injuries and ill health occurrences.  Andy worked with an impressive team of journalists producing a weekly newspaper and monthly magazine for members – including Charles Leadbeater who went on to work for the Financial Times and a former adviser to Tony Blair and Mark Wheeler who went on to become a senior press officer at HSE.

The British Safety Council’s relationship with Andy Slaughter our local MP is an important one focusing not only on major issues concerning health and safety regulation and access to justice but on other issues too concerning the local community and environment. 


British Safety Council submits further evidence to the Löfstedt review of health and safety legislation

2 Aug

Following the meeting in early July between Professor Ragnar Löfstedt and Lynda Armstrong our chair of trustees and Alex Botha our chief executive the British Safety Council took the opportunity to submit further evidence in response to issues discussed at that meeting.  Alex Botha wrote to the DWP review team providing further evidence on issues that go to the heart of health and safety legislation and regulation.  In his letter he set out that our recent survey of our members had revealed that six out of ten of our member organisations considered our present system of health and safety regulation “about right” while noting too that a third of our members, however, considered the system “too heavy”.

 Our chief executive set out our views on the role and contribution of external independent third party audit and the value and benefits it can bring.  We also highlighted those sectors where trade associations share information concerning health and safety management and performance data.  The business case for good health and safety also came up in the meeting between Professor Löfstedt and the British Safety Council.  We were able to identify in our further evidence the wealth of research undertaken both in Great Britain and the EU setting out the evidence of the business benefits of good health and safety and on the cost of workplace injuries and ill health occurrences.

Our contribution to supporting the entry level qualification in health and safety, made possible by the support of our members, and its importance in educating young people in risk awareness in preparation for going to work was also spelt out. As with our earlier evidence concerning the mass and complexity of two hundred sets of regulations we provided further evidence concerning the complexity surrounding the 55 sets of approved codes of practice currently in place. We recommended that work should be undertaken to explore the feasibility of rationalising codes of practice.

 The closing date for the submission of evidence has now passed.  We, like our members, await the outcome of the deliberations of independent review team with great interest.  The British Safety Council evidence will be available on our website towards the end of August.