The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) signed a ground-breaking partnership agreement with EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, on 27 January 2006 to promote effective health and safety management across manufacturing industries.
This agreement, which is the first of its kind between the HSE and another organisation, builds on a strong history of co-operation. Indeed, the HSE says that it recognises EEF’s expertise in the field of health and safety, as well as the quality advice and services it provides to member companies.
EEF currently has a membership of 6000 manufacturing, engineering and technology-based businesses and represents the interests of manufacturing at all levels.
The new partnership is described as providing manufacturing companies with an improved network for communication with the HSE, allowing them to receive the latest information and guidance from the regulator, and providing opportunities to feed back issues, concerns - and examples of good practice.
Manufacturing industry will also benefit from joint seminars and training events covering issues of particular concern. These will feature technical input from the HSE’s specialist staff, as well as information on best practice and implementation from EEF’s network of health and safety professionals.
Bill Callaghan, chair of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), said in his keynote speech at the launch: "I am sure that the EEF/HSE partnership will help us achieve our vision of being a modern, twenty-first-century regulator. I hope all here at the partnership launch recognise the great benefits that regulation can bring in protecting people at work. But we all know that ill-designed regulation can bring unnecessary burden. Getting the balance right can be tricky, but you have already helped us on difficult issues.”
On signing the agreement, Martin Temple, EEF director general, said: "Manufacturing companies take their health and safety responsibilities extremely seriously. This agreement is a recognition not only of EEF’s expertise in this area, but a signal of our commitment to promoting effective health and safety as part of a best practice business culture.”
Sandra Caldwell, head of field operations at the HSE, signed the agreement and commented: "This partnership agreement reflects a relationship of equals interested in a strong manufacturing sector with a healthy and safe workforce. It offers improved communications, better co-ordination of effort, greater efficiency in the delivery of effort and empowers us to work together more effectively without constraining initiative.”
The partnership between the two organisations will extend across England, Wales and Scotland, establishing close links between staff operating in every region.
Meanwhile, manufacturing companies, whether members of EEF or not, can obtain independent advice on workplace health and safety from the consultants employed by Pilz Automation Technology.