LOCAL GOVERNMENT EAST MIDLANDS SAFETY NETWORK FRIDAY 16TH JUNE 2006 MINUTES Attendees Name Jim Moran Steve Newton Terry Walsh John Davis Robin Walsh Steve Sumner Barry Saunders Adrian Wykes Bill Curtin David Simms James Royston Ron Muir (Chair) Sarah Tennant John Godwin Sue Stagg Jo Wilkinson Iain Watt Helen Kettle John Rose Authority Bassetlaw DC Broxtowe BC City of Lincoln Derbyshire CC Derbyshire Dales DC LGE Gedling BC Hinckley & Bosworth BC Hinckley & Bosworth BC Leicester City Council Leicester City Council Leicestershire CC Lincolnshire CC Milton Keynes Northamptonshire CC Rushcliffe BC Rutland CC South Kesteven DC Wellingborough BC Apologies Name Mike Rogers Rex Leverett Sarah-Jane Walmsley Steve Bruce Joanna Riddell Authority East Lindsey DC East Northants Council High Peak Community Housing Oadby & Wigston BC West Lindsey BC 1. Welcome The Chair, Ron Muir welcomed the group and thanked Steve Sumner from Local Government Employers’ for his attendance. 2. Notes of the last meeting – 10th March 2006 The notes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record. 3. Matters Arising Local Government Employer’ Update – Steve Sumner Steve updated the group that the Employers’ Organisation ceased to exist in March 2006 and is now Local Government Employers’ (LGE). The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) is now responsible for: National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) Capacity Building Fund Most HR facilities The LGE is now responsible for: Negotiations Pension issues Employee Relations Unit (ERU) Consultancy Employment Law Employment solutions Internal services such as IT and finance have been centralised. There should be no difference to external customers. National Update In January 2006, Steve and Mandy Wright were invited to present at the Health and Safety Productivity Ministerial Taskforce chaired by Lord Hunt the Department of Work and Pensions Minister on Sickness Absence in Local Government. This presentation was based around main causes, trends and what has been done to assist local authorities in reducing sickness absence levels. BVPI showed a ½ day per person reduction in rates. Overall the progress by the LGE was though to be going well. The taskforce has since written to all Chief Executives informing them of regional events to raise awareness that are to take place in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) formerly the (ODPM). The East Midlands regional event is scheduled for 21st September 2006 in Grantham. Steve asked all members of the network to encourage their CE’s and Leaders to attend. The HSE is also running a series of regional events around stress, sickness absence and management standards early next year. The East Midlands regional event is scheduled for 24th January 2007 at Birmingham City Council. 4. Green Book Part 4 – Health & Safety Guidance There is a commitment from the LGE to turn guidance into a good practice guide and the LGE will be asking local authorities and their Trade Union Health and Safety Representatives for joint comments and case studies. HSE - Directors Duties Steve updated the group that it is unlikely that there will be a statutory duty placed on directors at present the Bill has gone back to the Commission, however trade unions feel that this would drive up standards. McCrery Report – Alternative Sentencing The McCrery Report looks at how sentencing for Health and Safety offences might be more imaginative. Fines are viewed as unproductive as it is just recycling public monies and ultimately the only person who suffers is the service user. Other alternatives discussed in the report are: Restorative Justice – an apology and compensation? to injured party Adverse Publicity – advert publicly apologising for mistake Conditional Caution – conditions attached and prosecution if not followed Steve asked for the groups and their CE’s comments on : Proposals for alternative punishment McCrery’s principle behind punishment The Executive Summary of this report (attached at appendix 1 for information) gives more detail and comments were asked to be forwarded to Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org by 18th August 2006. Health, Work and Wellbeing Strategy Steve updated the group that the idea behind this strategy, launched last October, is to keep people fit for work longer. Caron Black has been appointed Director and local government will have a significant role to play. The LGE are currently running a pilot event in the East of England regional called ‘Beyond Absence’ in October of this year and if this is a success, the events will be rolled out nationally. Corporate Manslaughter Bill The Home Office re-drafted after select committee review. There are difficulties surrounding the definition of ‘senior management’. It is hoped that the Bill will be approved soon. Steve asked Officers to urge all local authority Chief Executives to manage health and safety effectively. Chaspey & Local Authority Bench Marking Tool Currently being run in parallel to finish in November 2006 with results to be evaluated by the Health & Safety Laboratories. 54 local authorities are currently registered on Chaspey. Steve informed the group that he would circulate the latest version of the local authority tool to network members, see attached appendix 2 for information. Steve updated the group that Anne Richardson (currently on secondment from the Audit Commission) will now join the Department of Health covering mental health issues. She has been developing a process in conjunction with Lincolnshire Constabulary on how to encompass stress and mental health issues into the CPA process. 5. Updates Consultation Document - CD 207 - Improving worker involvement Improving health and safety Steve asked for the group to forward any comments to Fliss Haynes by 5 th September 2006 for collation into a national response. Sedentary Headstones A discussion followed regarding the laying down of headstones by local authorities. Steve updated the network that to do this may require a ‘faculty’ from the diocese (see appendix 3 for information). There have been problems around the guidance for ‘topple tester’ hoping to be resolved by the end of the year. The DCA are now dealing with this and have all interested parties together to create a good practice guide. Problems encountered because the grave actually belongs to the descendants of the deceased and it is their responsibility to tend grave. 6. Accident Statistics - Barry Saunders Barry presented the accident statistics for the period October to December 2005. Attached at appendix 4 is a copy of his presentation. 7. City of Lincoln Council Partnership with HSE on Stress Management – Terry Walsh Terry presented to the group on the joint initiative for reducing stress and sickness absence in conjunction with the HSE. Format for the action plan mention in presentation (attached at appendix 5 for information) is available from the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk. 8. Any other business RIDDOR Reporting of Sporting Injuries – Robin Walsh A discussion followed regarding when a RIDDOR report should be filed for accidents when in a sporting context. It was decided that if all supervisory procedures have been followed and none of the equipment was at fault then there is no need to fill in a RIDDOR report. It was advised that each case be studied on its own merits and a decision taken regarding the circumstances. 9. Date of next meeting Friday 22nd September 2006 at 10.00am in LGEM Conference Room.