Towards the end of January 2005 the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement to promote effective health and safety management across manufacturing industries throughout England, Wales and Scotland, establishing close links between staff operating in every region.
The agreement, which is the first of its kind between the HSE and another organisation, follows on from previous collaborations between the two bodies. It recognises the EEF’s expertise in the field of health and safety and the high quality of the advice and services it provides to member companies.
It is intended that the partnership will provide manufacturing companies with an improved network for communication with HSE, enabling them to receive the latest information and guidance from the regulator, as well as providing them with opportunities to feedback issues and concerns, as well as examples of good practice.
Joint seminars and training events are planned to cover issues that have an impact on manufacturing. These will benefit from technical input from the HSE’s specialist staff, as well as information on best practice and implementation from the 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 with difficult issues.”
EEF director general, Martin Temple, 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 also a signal of our commitment to promoting effective health and safety as part of a best practice business culture.”
Sandra Caldwell, the HSE‘s head of field operations, signed the agreement for the HSE. She 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.”
Currently the EEF has a membership of 6000 manufacturing, engineering and technology-based businesses and represents the interests of manufacturing at all levels.