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April 16, 2012

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Profession upbeat about Government’s approach to health and safety

Practitioners are bullish about the impact that the Government’s health and safety policies might have on their own jobs, according to a survey of those who attended the IOSH Conference in March.

Despite the prime minister’s declaration earlier this year that he would wage war on the UK’s “excessive” health and safety culture, and the Chancellor’s announcement in the Budget that 84 per cent of health and safety regulation would either be scrapped, or improved, the survey of more than 300 IOSH Conference delegates found that more than a third (35 per cent) felt that the Government’s current approach to health and safety is actually having a positive effect on their job.  

Carried out by contractor-screening company PICS Ltd, the survey revealed that around a quarter of those questioned (26 per cent) thought that the Coalition’s health and safety policies would have a detrimental effect on their job, while more than a third (35 per cent) regarded them as a positive influence in respect of their current roles. Indeed, nearly all the respondents (93 per cent) believe they will still have a job in health and safety in 12 months time, while those who don’t said it is more about their decision to change career than any threat of redundancy.

Encouragingly, almost half of respondents were upbeat about the prospects for the economy, with 40 per cent not anticipating any cuts in health and safety spending within their organisations in the next 12 months, and only 4 per cent forecasting extensive cutbacks. Typically, delegates have strong backing from their senior management, with 58 per cent saying their bosses consider health and safety a key part of the way their organisation is run.

Quizzed on their main concerns with regard to contractors, striving to ensure health and safety compliance was the biggest struggle for nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of practitioners, while three-fifths (61 per cent) do not use third-party support for contractor pre-qualification and accreditation.

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