August 1, 2019

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British Safety Council

British Safety Council awards, training and diplomas

When James Tye created the British Safety Council in 1957, thousands of people were being killed at work every year in the UK, while many more suffered serious injuries and disease.

James Tye British Safety Council

James Tye (right) with Cliff Richard (centre), one of many celebrities who took part in the British Safety Council campaigns.

James Tye tirelessly for comprehensive protection of all workers, and the last 60 years of health and safety campaign history has now been unveiled as part of the British Safety Council’s digital archive.

This archive contains work featuring momentous events from 60 years of British economic, social and political history, and holds unique documents and correspondence as well as photographs, newspapers, magazines and posters which were thought to be lost.

In 2015, as the British Safety Council started to prepare a treasure trove of historic materials including campaign posters, photographs, and correspondence, all of which was bursting from old boxes in a warehouse in the Midlands.

These have now been digitized and made publicly available for the first time.

Among the treasures in the archive are:

  • The first UK report into the need for seat-belt laws, from 1959;
  • A comprehensive collection of publications from 1959 to 2010, documenting the British history of this period, including tragedies, e.g. the Kings Cross fire and Hillsborough disaster, changes in politics, industry, fashion and gender;
  • Hundreds of unique, hand-drawn posters from the 1970s, 80s and 90s;
  • Photographs of celebrities who were involved in the British Safety Council’s campaigns, including Dame Barbara Windsor DBE, Des Lynam OBE and Dame Esther Rantzen DBE;
  • An insight into the life and struggles of James Tye, a powerful and sometimes controversial campaigning voice trying to change the attitude of British industry and the public to safety and health at work; and
  • The British Safety Council’s magazines from the 60s.


A picture from James Tye’s campaign for road safety which was remembered for white crosses painted on damaged cars.

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “The British Safety Council has a long history of involvement in health and safety. Our digital archive, which we have saved for future generations, is testament to this.

“It also offers a unique insight into the history of health and safety in Britain and is a record of the commitment, passion and unrelenting efforts of those health and safety professionals who campaigned tirelessly against all the odds to make Britain a safer place to work.”

The archive featured in a picture book and a film, released to mark British Safety Council’s 60th anniversary in 2017. The film told story of the charity over the last 60 years, including its big wins and achievements, and feature rare footage and images. The film will be available online after the event.

A commemorative picture was also published by social historian Mike Esbester, which tells the story of the British Safety Council and James Tye. It uses images from the archive, revealing the charity’s colourful heritage and past campaigns, as well as how they shaped the social, political and economic changes of the last 60 years.

British Safety Council membership

Two kinds of membership are offered, UK and international, designed to help organisations manage legislation and compliance while systematically improving health, safety and environmental standards.

Many businesses, from small independent start-ups to large multinational organisations, are part of the largest corporate health and safety membership organisation. For over 60 years they have benefitted from the best practice advice and influence of experts as they strive to excellence in workplace health, safety and wellbeing.

British Safety Council Awards, How does it work?

Each year, since 1980, the British Safety Council has awarded the Sword of Honour for health and safety management excellence. For the past seven years, it has awarded the Globe of Honour for excellence in environmental management. SHP Spoke to Policy and Technical Director David Parr to find out about how the process works.

British Safety Council Globe of Honour Award

“The five-star audit is unique to the British Safety Council,” explains David. “There are essentially three kinds of five-star audit: occupational health and safety, environmental and process safety. What makes the audit unique is that it is based upon current best practice, and as it is quantifiable, there’s a scored, graded outcome.

“It’s a consultancy audit, so we provide detailed recommendations that organisations can use as their improvement plan. It provides a structured route to best practice status.”

The audit benchmarks a company’s performance against best practice globally. It also an actual quantified scored outcome against that best practice standard. So how does the best practice get determined? “Every year we have a panel of technical experts, both internal and external, who review all the current trends and current global standards,” explains David.

Click here for the full interview with David.

British Safety Council India

In 2018, British Safety Council announced the launch of the ‘India Safety Leadership Group’. This is a forum which will enable its members in India to share best practice and expertise in health, safety and wellbeing and lead broader change across all sectors.

In India, around 80% of the estimated 465 million-strong workforce are not protected by the existing health and safety legal framework. The British Safety Council aims to raise awareness of the importance of managing health and safety risks in the workplace. It will also challenge traditional views and approaches, as well as supporting employers in adopting practices which better safeguard the health and safety of their workers.

The opening of an office in Mumbai in 2017 followed over 20 years of support to the Indian market. The Indian office allows it to offer a greater range of products tailored to the needs of the Indian market. It also acts as a base for campaigning and progressing its charitable work in the country.

Chief Executive, Mike Robinson spoke about the opening of the first meeting of the India Safety Leadership Group. Click here to see what he said.

Mike also spoke to Safety Bytes, where he discussed:

  • Why the British Safety Council decided to launch in India.
  • How it will have an impact on health & safety in India, a country of 1.3bn people.

Measuring air pollution: Canairy App for outdoor workers

In March 2019 British Safety Council launched Canairy, in partnership with King’s College London. Canairy is the world’s first mobile app for outdoor workers to measure their exposure to air pollution in London. SHP spoke to Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council, to find out more.

Canairy was launched to coincide with the Time to Breathe campaign. It aims to give those who work outside all the information they need to help reduce their exposure to air pollution. It will also allow employers to gather intelligence to help them protect the health of their workforce.

Click here to read more from Matthew, and Andrew Grieve, Senior Air Quality Analyst at King’s College London.

Click here to visit the British Safety Council website.

More articles:

Most PPE still failing basic safety and regulation criteria, new report shows

PPE is still failing to meet the most basic legal safety and regulation criteria after a study showed 79% of items spot-checked did not meet standards.

What did the 2019-2024 Parliament mean for workers’ health, safety, and wellbeing?

The British Safety Council provide their view on the current Government’s progress in health, safety and wellbeing, but also on what may need renewed focus.

“One in six employees in any week will experience common mental health problems”

The BSC hosted a virtual workplace wellbeing conference that focused on engaging, equipping and empowering the workplace for optimal mental health.

British Safety Council Wellbeing Conference: Empowering Employees for Success

The British Safety Council’s fourth Wellbeing Conference is set to focus on employee engagement and empowerment, on Wednesday 24 April. 

Passing the baton – Meet the 2024 IOSH President

Mark Glover speaks to incoming IOSH President Stuart Hughes about his plans for the role and asks former President Lawrence Waterman what he took from the last 12 months.

Last call for International Safety Awards

Organisations in the UK and internationally have until 9 February to apply for a coveted International Safety Award, says British Safety Council.

‘Add health as the lens to your business performance’ – British Safety Council Conference 2023

The 13th British Safety Council conference this month had a theme of organisational resilience, covering topics including wellbeing, AI, sustainability, ageism and diversity in the workforce.

British Safety Council Annual Conference to focus on organisational resilience

British Safety Council will hold its 13th Annual Conference on 17 October 2023, with a theme of “Ensuring your organisation is resilient and future-proofed”.

Taking action on strategies and hybrid working – A summary of the British Safety Council Wellbeing Conference 

Last month, an array of speakers presented on critical topics on wellbeing at the British Safety Council Wellbeing conference. Here, we take a look at some of the main topics discussed at the event…

British Safety Council announces speaker line-up for its annual Wellbeing Conference

British Safety Council will hold its third annual Wellbeing Conference on 18 April 2023. The event will be online and chaired by Stephen Haynes.

Key HS stakeholders urge Government to reconsider Retained EU Law Bill

Key voices from the health and safety sector are calling on the Government to scrap arbitrary deadlines of the EU Retained Law Bill.

Free help for SMEs and micros on workplace wellbeing from the British Safety Council

In the face of pressures following Covid and in light of a worsening economy, British Safety Council is offering any organisation employing up to 500 staff the chance to get free support to improve the wellbeing of their workplace.

‘To talk about issues of your own sometimes has a negative connotation – Why should it?’ – Col. Dame Kelly Holmes on mental health at work

At the British Safety Council event this month, Col. Dame Kelly Holmes addressed delegates by discussing wellbeing and mental health in the workplace.

Grenfell Tower fire: Scotland highlights £900m funding gap for cladding remediation

72 people were killed by the horrific fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London on Wednesday, 14 June 2017.

A guide to home working

Many businesses have begun to embrace the idea of flexible working and working from home and, in the current climate, more and more of us may find ourselves plunged into doing so for longer than the one to two days a week, which employers and employees adapt to fairly easily.

Peter McGettrick appointed as new British Safety Council Chairman

Peter McGettrick has replaced Lawrence Waterman OBE CFIOSH, who recently stood down after four years in the post.

Employers have a ‘legal duty’ to consult employees on matters affecting their health and safety at work

All UK employers have a legal duty to consult employees on matters affecting their health and safety at work, according to the British Safety Council.

International Safety Awards launched for 2022

The BSC’s International Safety Awards 2022 are now open for applications, with a new category celebrating those who have transformed the sector.

Five-Star Audit, Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour Awards, How does it work? SHP meets British Safety Council’s David Parr

The British Safety Council’s Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit has been revised and updated for 2021. It now places greater emphasis on assessing how effectively an organisation manages the combined risks to workers’ health and wellbeing, as well as business resilience and recovery.

“Indefensible” that leaseholders have not been protected from costs – British Safety Council responds to Fire Safety Act

The Fire Safety Act passed into law in late April. The British Safety Council provides its view on the legislation.

Government working from home advert ‘shows a complete lack of understanding around health and safety’, says British Safety Council

British Safety Council says ‘Government advert risks legitimising poor practice, the costs of which ultimately end up on the NHS’.

British Safety Council calls on Government and HSE to strengthen and enforce COVID-Secure workplace rules

Chairman Lawrence Waterman recognises the challenges faced by the Government, but says there are some ‘obvious steps’ that can be taken to help control the virus and protect workers.

Introducing Being Well Together

The British Safety Council’s Being Well Together programme brings disparate aspects of workplace wellbeing under one umbrella.

British Safety Council calls for Government health campaign urging employers to improve workplace controls to help combat new COVID variant

Lawrence Waterman appeals for more open discussion, more public health messaging and an end to the Government’s ‘short termism’.

SHP’s Most Influential figures in health & safety named for 2020

Hilda Palmer, Facilitator, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), has been named as the Most Influential Individual in health & safety. SHP has produced a list of the most influential people in health & safety, as voted for by you.

‘The end of health and safety gone mad?’ – eBook launched to highlight the profession’s positive work

“The end of health and safety gone mad?” is a new eBook investigating the way the health and safety community has evolved and adapted to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. It explores growing positive media attention and the work performed by major health and safety associations, and asks how the profession may look going into 2021.

‘Now is not the time for unnecessary trips to the office’

British Safety Council urges Government not to pressurise employers to get workers back into the office. If people can work from home, they should have the choice to work from home: for the sake of people’s health, wellbeing and the economy.

British Safety Council launches Live Online, a series of digital mental health workshops

The British Safety Council has launched a selection of its mental health workshops online for those looking to better address employee mental wellbeing, as workplaces across the country adjust their practices to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

WATCH: ‘State of the health and safety profession and sourcing PPE during COVID-19’

This on-demand webinar provides an update on the current state of the health & safety profession, looking at how health & safety professionals are having to adapt to new challenges and working environments.

British Safety Council continues to evolve to support organisations during the coronavirus pandemic

‘The coronavirus pandemic is not an excuse to let health safety and environmental standards slip,’ says the British Safety Council.

Health and Safety at Work Day: ‘Let’s make workplaces fit for heroes’, says British Safety Council

The British Safety Council is marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with a pledge to support workers’ safety through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

‘Non-essential construction must end to keep workers and public safe’

Government must give clearer guidance on building sites says British Safety Council.

It’s not safe for the Olympics to go ahead as planned says London 2012 health and safety boss

Lawrence Waterman OBE – “We ran the safest ever games for London 2012 – the Tokyo Games cannot be delivered safely for athletes, visitors or workers in Japan.”

British Safety Council announces winners of the International Safety Awards

The British Safety Council has revealed the winners of its 2020 International Safety Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate organisations from around the world which have shown a true dedication to keeping their workers and workplaces healthy and safe over the last year.

Budget 2020: Statutory sick pay will be paid to all those who choose to self-isolate

In the first budget of 2020, the newly-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has pledged the NHS will get ‘whatever resources it needs’ during the coronavirus crisis, while he has also unveiled measures to boost the self-employed and small businesses who are left out of pocket.

‘Outdoor workers are exposed to 15% more pollution than the average Londoner’

A report carried out by Kings College London has highlighted the health risks of living near busy roads in the UK.

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Atef Al-manasir
Atef Al-manasir
5 years ago

My Name Is Atef Al Manasir From AMMAN JORDAN,
I have established a new business that will supply to local customers in Jordan all work wear (e.g Safety footwear ,earplugs,oil and fire clothing,……)
I need your kind assistant to provide me by the British standard for all kinds of safety wears, or you may direct me to the concern party.