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May 26, 2011

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Praise for power sector’s safety focus

Parliamentarians have applauded the UK electricity industry’s ambition to become a world leader in health and safety.

Launched last year, and due to run until 2015, the ‘Powering Improvement’ initiative is the channel by which the sector hopes to achieve its goal. Each year, the campaign strategy will focus on a specific theme identified as a priority area for the sector – with this year concentrating on occupational health and well-being

The initiative – driven by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and the Association of Electricity Producers (AEP) – sees the industry, unions and the HSE work together to seek to deliver a safer working environment and a reduction in days lost through ill health.
Stakeholders gathered at the House of Lords yesterday (25 May) to mark the launch of the campaign’s theme for 2011. Opening the event, Lord Taylor of Holbeach (pictured), the Government’s spokesperson in the House of Lords for both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change
(DECC), said: “With an industry as large and as vital as this, it is impressive that such an ambitious initiative has been universally adopted.

“As a result of the importance given to health and safety so far, the electricity industry is five times safer since privatisation, but the industry is not resting on its laurels, and ‘Powering Improvement’ seeks to address areas of vital importance.”
Rt Hon Baroness Smith of Basildon, shadow DECC spokesperson, remarked on the approach taken by those involved: “The partnership established between unions, industry and the Government over many years signifies the critical role the safety and health of workers plays in delivering our nation’s energy needs. Industry, unions and government have a common purpose and interest in delivering ‘Powering Improvement’.”
Speaking prior to the event, Peter McCormick, ENA’s ‘Powering Improvement’ coordinator, said: “Workers in the electricity industry face many significant risks, which need to be managed. Key to this risk management is strong leadership, where managers and supervisors of all levels take ownership of risks and accept the responsibility of managing them.”

The campaign’s progress will be monitored via a range of leading and lagging indicators. The overarching strategy will be supported by annual delivery plans and an annual report will chart progress.

For more information, visit

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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