I know we’ve still got several days to go to Christmas but I want everyone who reads my blog to start giving some thought to a resolution we’re going to be asking you to make early in the New Year.
We know that Britain has a health and safety record we can all be very proud of – it’s one of the best in the world. But we also know that we can be even better. It is a challenge but one we should all be up for because it’s about helping our country – every nation and region – to work well and prosper. There are lots of things we do well, that’s why we are already world class, but to be even better we need to examine what we all do – hold on to what’s good and resolve to change what gets in the way of us improving.
Good risk management is fundamental because it helps lead to improved productivity, higher levels of innovation and it delivers economic growth. I’ve said many times in this blog that it is integral to business success, as well as being about ensuring that everyone goes home safe and well after a day’s work. It’s about focusing on the important stuff and putting measures in place which are proportionate and sensible.
You’ve read these words before but now it’s time for action from all of us. We’re getting ready for the launch of the new strategy for GB’s health and safety system which will take us through to 2020. The strategy has six key themes. But this is a strategy for the system not for HSE alone. We need to act together to gain much broader ownership and commitment and that means we need to talk, share ideas and find the courage to take some new directions. We will be holding a series of conversations around the country early in the New Year before we formally launch the strategy – we’re looking for real commitment to make a difference and take us even further on that journey of delivering the very best health and safety performance combined with economic success.
Here is one example of how we need to hold on to what’s good and also take new steps. In recent years HSE has worked hard to simplify regulations while maintaining standards of protection. It’s been very well received but we know there is more to do.
We need to identify where the well-meaning efforts of others over-complicate things rather than simplify and to understand how we can change this.
Most of us take time to reflect over the Christmas and New Year period whether it’s at work, at home, in the pub or in the bath. Here are some of the questions I’d like you to think about:
- Does your personal contribution to health and safety really help others – or hinder?
- Is ownership and responsibility for health and safety in the right place in your organisation?
- Is it on the right things?
- What could you personally do differently in 2016 that will really help us to create an even better health and safety system in GB?
- Are you prepared to make a resolution to do something different in 2016?
If you are, join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #HelpGBWorkWell. We will then look forward to talking with you in January/February and to working with you to build your commitments into creating an even better health and safety system for Great Britain and for everyone.
Happy Christmas and here’s to an even safer and healthier 2016 and beyond.