U.K. Partnership Aims to Improve Health and Safety in Manufacturing

The U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Jan. 27 signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement with EEF, an organization representing the manufacturing industry, to promote effective safety and health management across manufacturing industries in the United Kingdom.

The partnership is aimed at improving communication between manufacturing companies and HSE, allowing the companies to receive the latest information from the agency, in addition to offering them the opportunity to comment on issues as well as address concerns and share examples of good practice.

The agreement, the first of its kind between HSE and other organizations, is meant to recognize EEF's expertise in the field of health and safety. It is similar to some of the partnership agreements signed by OSHA and U.S. trade associations and industry representatives.

Representatives from both sides of the partnership said they believe the alliance will be a positive step toward promoting successful health and safety measures in the United Kingdom's manufacturing sector.

"This partnership agreement reflects a relationship of equals interested in a strong manufacturing sector with a healthy and safe work force," said Sandra Cowell, HSE's head of Field Operations.

EEF General Director Martin Temple noted the agreement not only is a recognition of EEF's expertise in occupational safety and health but also "a signal of our commitment to promoting effective health and safety as part of a best practice business culture."

HSE's job is to help the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) minimize safety and health hazards in the workplace. Part of HSC's continuing strategy for workplace health and safety involves developing innovative partnerships in the public and private sectors.

More information can be found in the document, "A Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and Beyond" at http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/hsc/strategy.htm.

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