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Greater focus on health and safety

25 January 2013

Manufacturers are urging government to resist pressure for new legal duties on directors after a new survey concluded that, despite the recession, company boards are taking a more hands-on approach and spending more t

Manufacturers are urging government to resist pressure for new legal duties on directors after a new survey concluded that, despite the recession, company boards are taking a more hands-on approach and spending more time on health and safety.

The HSE Board is under pressure to recommend a new duty on directors. However the survey of almost 400 companies, conducted by EEF the manufacturers' organisation, revealed there has been a major increase in board engagement in managing health and safety risks over the last three years. According to EEF the survey proves the proposed new laws are unnecessary and maybe counter-productive.

"Our survey confirms that there has been a sea change in director involvement - active leadership is now very definitely the norm, not the exception," says Steve Pointer, head of health & safety policy at EEF.

He fears further statutory duties would simply lead to a 'box ticking' mentality aimed at protecting board members instead of protecting employees. The survey shows that encouragement and support, coupled with robust enforcement of the existing duty on directors, is more likely to bring further improvements.
 
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