To celebrate the UK’s 85% reduction in fatal accidents since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, the country’s leading health and safety bodies are uniting to launch Health & Safety Week 2014, 16th – 20th June, at Safety & Health Expo and reinstate a positive image for this exceptionally worthwhile profession.

Heather Beach, director, UBM Live, the organisers of this annual exhibition and conference and the driving force behind the week explained, “It’s about time the UK celebrates its health and safety record. We lead the world with this record and this is evidenced with events such as London 2012 where no lives were lost during the construction of the Olympic Park. We should be proud of what we have achieved and shout about our successes because as a result of all the hard work, peoples’ lives are being saved every day”.

The UK’s key health and safety bodies have signed up to launch this week including the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), the British Safety Council (BSC), the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH), the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Safety Groups UK (SGUK) to name but a few.

Whilst the profession has undergone criticism from government and newspapers in the recent past, often due to the civil litigation culture, businesses have been wising up to the long term benefits of ensuring that health and safety is an integral part of their sustainability and CSR initiatives.

“We intend to put a positive light on the importance and value of recognising and engaging with health and safety so that we can begin to focus on the next challenge – the reduction of deaths from work related illnesses,” Heather continued.  “Around 13,000 people continue to die every year from illnesses that have developed as a result of their work such as cancer and lung diseases.  This number is clearly not acceptable and Health & Safety Week is being launched to raise awareness of these issues and encourage employers to ensure a worker’s life is not put in unnecessary danger.”

The week will be launched at Safety & Health Expo 2014 on Tuesday 17th June at 10am by Judith Hackitt CBE, chair, Health and Safety Executive. Going forward a range of initiatives and campaigns for businesses and workplaces to engage with will be arranged to build the momentum towards this week each year so that the achievements that protect and save lives can continue to be celebrated. 

Any other organisation that would like to be part of the week and find out more about it should contact:

Heather Beach, Director, UBM Live

Sarah McOnie, Director, The McOnie Agency