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News

Workers' Safety Adviser Challenge Fund award winners announced

HSE InfoLine : 01 March, 2006  (Company News)
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister responsible for health and safety, today announced the 13 award winners from the third round of the Workers' Safety Adviser Challenge Fund. The aim of the fund is to increase worker involvement and consultation.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, minister responsible for health and safety, today announced the 13 award winners from the third round of the Workers' Safety Adviser Challenge Fund. The aim of the fund is to increase worker involvement and consultation.

Lord Hunt said, 'For a third consecutive year, HSE has received a tremendous response to the WSA Challenge Fund, in terms of both the quantity and quality of bids. Some are built on the good work from the previous two rounds. All the award winners have presented convincing, well thought-out plans for building partnerships and driving improvements in occupational health and safety.'

Successful projects are based on organisations working in partnerships to generate and improve collaboration between employers and workers in small firms.

The third round winners are from a wide range of industries, including the construction, hospitality, printing, retail and voluntary sectors. Project partners include trade unions, trade associations, local authorities, primary care trusts, voluntary organisations and business organisations.

Each project has been awarded between 52,777 and 100,000 to engage and enthuse employers and workers alike, through the activities of the Workers' Safety Advisers they employ, to establish collaborative environments in which to drive through improvements in occupational health and safety.

Increasing worker involvement has been shown to improve health and safety performance and is a key part of the HSC strategy. Workers who have a voice, influence and responsibility on health and safety matters are safer and healthier than those who do not. An essential part of HSC's vision, is a fully involved workforce and a vibrant system of workplace health and safety representatives operating in partnership with management.

The WSA Challenge Fund was established in 2004 and is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions who are providing 3 million over a three-year period. The focus of the Fund is small and medium-sized enterprises lacking arrangements for involving their workforce in the management of their own and others health and safety.

Great Britain loses over 39 million workdays through work related accidents and ill health each year. This not only represents a considerable financial loss to business and society but can also have serious financial, physical and emotional implications for the individuals off work and their families. The strategy recognises that to improve occupational health and safety performance, HSC must win the hearts and minds of everyone in the workplace, hence the focus on working in partnership with stakeholders.

Lord Hunt continued, 'The 46 influential partners and 23 Workers' Safety Advisers that make up the award winners will be able to reach out to workers in almost 800 small and medium-sized organizations. Working with employers and employees they will be able to achieve measurable and sustained changes to their organisations' culture and behaviours.'

'We're very pleased that the winners represent a good cross-section of Great Britain both sectorally and nationally, with Scotland and Wales again represented this year. We see partnership working as one of our prime vehicles for promoting and persuading stakeholders of the benefits of sensible health and safety. The Fund has given us an opportunity to support a wide-range of diverse stakeholders, through innovative partnerships and we wish them every success!'
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