Health and safety has suffered from a
considerable amount of bad press in recent years.
Some elements of the media have distorted
stories, and some people and organisations have jumped on the "
‘elf n safety band wagon" to push through decisions which
really had very little to do with health and safety.
Some insurance companies make up safety rules
and restrictions based purely on minimising the potential to pay
out on policies rather than real risks to people.
Some people with good intensions have also
miscalculated the real risk and imposed unnecessary restrictions;
we cannot live life permanently protected from every minor hazard
the world has to offer.
Northumberland County Council has signed up
with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and
many other local authorities to sensible risk management.
Sensible risk management IS about:
- Ensuring that workers and the public are
- Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and
risks, with a focus on reducing real risks - both those which
arise more often and those with serious consequences.
- Enabling innovation and learning not stifling them.
- Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly
and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is
likely to lead to robust action.
- Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to
protection, they also have to exercise responsibility.
Sensible risk management IS NOT about:
- Creating a totally risk free society.
- Generating useless paperwork mountains.
- Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial
- Stopping important recreational and learning activities for
individuals where the risks are managed.
- Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm
Further information on sensible risk
management is available on the Health and Safety
Executive's (HSE's) website. It has an
amusing slant with a calendar of cartoons debunking many of the
Health and safety is about managing the real
risks in the real world and not about mountains of paperwork and
protecting people from occasional paper cuts.
If you are worried about health and safety in
terms of your workplace, an event or recreational activity you are
organising then contact the Public Protection Commercial Team for
some sensible advice. Don't let health and safety scare