Want to get a story published about a workshop to learn about risk assessments? Not the most catchy of subject matters for a press release. So, here at matm we found an angle that highlighted an interesting and counter-intuitive trend – recession makes business safer. The press release below was used in a substantial story by the Shrophire Star on April 2 and several other news publications.
Economic downturn is boosting safety standards – so learn how to do the job right, say Midland experts
The economic downturn blighting British industry is having one unexpected positive effect – it is improving safety standards, says a leading Midland health and safety advisor.
Marvin Owen, Chairman of the Midlands West District of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH), is urging business managers to attend a major annual training event in Shropshire in June, saying good safety practice is becoming increasingly vital to commercial survival.
He said: “Many people might think that, when times are economically tough, companies are going to be tempted to cut corners and health and safety standards will suffer. However, we’re finding the opposite is the case.”
Mr Owen, managing director of Oswestry consultancy MBO Safety Services, added: “When the economy was strong, there was so much work that some main contractors were tempted to cut corners by hiring sub contactors who did not always use the right practices.
“Because there is less work around now, we are finding that main contractors feel they have the time and incentive to impose proper health and safety standards, and sub contractors who can demonstrate they can meet them have a real advantage.”
West Midlands IOSH is holding its one-day risk management event on Thursday 20 June 2012, at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire,
Business managers can attend a series of four workshops to learn how to carry out effective risk assessments in the workplace.
Emma Walker, event coordinator for IOSH West District, said: “Carrying out risk assessments is now central to safety at work, and for companies to prove they have complied with the law.
“Failure to carry out proper risk assessments is at the centre of many prosecutions which can result in huge fines, ruined reputations and the bankruptcy and even imprisonment of company directors.
“Many companies make the mistake of using generic risk assessments. The workshops will show how they can apply site and process specific risk assessments so health and safety procedures are correct at all times.”
The four workshops will cover the risk assessment process; noise assessment; control of substances hazardous to health; and manual handling. Each will be led by a Midland-based health and safety expert.
The keynote speech will be given by John Lacey, Vice-President of IOSH.
Marvin Owen said: “The increased emphasis being put on workplace health and safety during the downturn is welcomed.
“However, there are companies that, mainly through ignorance, are putting their staff, clients and the public at serious risk by failing to carry out proper risk assessments.
“Some people still wrongly see safety procedures as being a financial burden. But not carrying out risk assessments can be a major hidden cost.
“Companies that haven’t fully understood the full safety implications of the work they agree to can suffer huge financial penalties later on. Good health and safety makes good business sense.”
The IOSH West Midlands risk assessment workshops are aimed at all health and safety professionals; managers, directors and health and safety officers in small and medium-sized businesses; anyone who is responsible for assessing risk in the workplace; and anyone else interested in health and safety at work.
For more information or to book a place, email Leanne Lowther at IOSH (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 0116 257 3100.