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Oral Update on the Firemens Strike - Nick Starling


Oral Update on the Firemens Strike - Nick Starling

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									                                                                        HELA CP 87/01
Open Government status: Fully                Paper Number: CP 87/01
                                             Meeting Date:
                                             Type of Paper: Above-the-line


                                 Draft Minutes of HELA 86


   1.    The draft minutes of HELA 86 are submitted for approval.


   2     Members are asked to comment as appropriate and approve the attached
         draft minutes.

Contact: Margaret Harris
         HSE HELA Secretary
Tel:     020 7717 6449

                                                                                        HELA CP 87/01
                                        DRAFT MINUTES
                                            HELA 86
           Health and Safety Executive/Local Authority Enforcement Liaison Committee
                                        19 February 2004
                                 LGA Local Government House
                                          London SW1
Chairing this meeting                   William Myers (LGA)

HSE Joint Chair                         Justin McCracken (HSE) (Deputy Director General of HSE)

Local Government Association (LGA)      Peter Foley                     Kevin Gosling
                                        Janet Russell                   Philip Winsor
                                        Trish O’Flynn
WLGA                                    Rod Denley-Jones

LACORS                                  Derek Allen           Nick Clack
                                        Mark Du Val

London Fire Authority                   Brenda Weir

CIEH/HASCOG                             Roger Wastnedge (Observer)

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)       Gareth Broughton                Allan Davies – Head of LAU
                                        David Humphreys                 Alan Plom
                                        Percy Smith                     Phil Scott Head of OPD
                                        Nick Starling – Co Director Policy Unit

HSE N.Ireland                           Claire Savage (Observer)

Joint HELA Secretary (HSE)              Margaret Harris - HSE Minute Secretary

Presenters                              Monica Smith – BWED- Occ Health

Observers                               Jenny Fordham – in secondee Jennifer Pays – Student
                                        LAU                         EHO

                                                                              HELA CP 87/01

1. Introduction and Apologies

1.1    The Chairman welcomed Phil Scott – Director of the LA Strategic Programme;
Brenda Weir, new H&S Manager for London Fire Service; Claire Savage - HSE N.Ireland;
Kevin Gosling- LGA substituting for Alan Craft who has been called up on active service;
Percy Smith substituting for Jeanette Reuben HSE; David Humphreys - new member of
LAU; Jenny Fordham on secondment to LAU/HSE from Derby City Council; Jennifer Pays
on a student placement in HSE; and Monica Smith presenting a paper.

1.2  Apologies for absence were received from John Arthur and James Fowlie from
CoSLA; Alex McLeod –REHIS/HASCOG; Alan Craft – LGA and Jeanette Reuben from HSE.

2. Minutes of the last meeting                                            HELA CP 86/01
2.1    The minutes were approved without amendment.

3. Matters arising from the last meeting of HELA                          HELA CP 86/02
3.1 AOB: HELA Conference – December 2003- the LGA said the feedback from elected
members had been very good and requests for additional items (e.g. Partnership working)
were things that still had to be developed. The LA Chair said that he thought it had been an
excellent conference. LACORS said they would explore ways of promoting the conference
through their various publications.
3.2 It was agreed that the next Conference should be held in November 2004; the theme
should be ‘the New Partnership’; and the Minister should be invited to address it.
Action: 1) LACORS to explore ways to promote the Conference;
        2) LAU to arrange the conference in November 2004 and invite the Minister.

4. An Oral Report from Director of the Local Authority Strategic Programme

4.1 Phil Scott reported on the inaugural meeting of the Programme Board held on 16
 February. Papers for the Board meeting had been circulated to HELA members prior to
 the HELA meeting. Phil outlined the membership of the Board as follows:

 Derek Allan, LACORS          –      LA Co-chair
 Phil Scott- OPD/HSE         -       HSE Co-chair

 Bill Myers -                -       LGA
 To be nominated             -       Welsh LGA
 John Arthur                 -       CoSLA
 Trish O’Flynn               -       LGA

 David Ashton                -       HSE (FOD HQ)
 Stewart Campbell            -       HSE Director for Scotland
 Murray Devine               -       HSE Director for London
 Andy Hall                   -       HSE Head of Nuclear and Hazardous Substances
                                     Policy Division.

Secretary’s note: WLGA rep is Rod Denley-Jones

4.2 Phil outlined the draft Statement of Intent, which had been seen by the Health and
Safety Commission and HSE. The statement was considered by the Programme Board and
will be submitted to the Steering Group for endorsement before it is finally agreed and
published as joint statement. It is a high level commitment, which provides the framework of
                                                                               HELA CP 87/01
objectives for the programme. These include commitment to partnership; shared objectives;
improved communications, providing information; examining and adapting the legal
framework, which currently underpins the relationship between HSC, HSE and LAs;
monitoring and auditing arrangements to reflect the status of HSE and LAs as partners. It is
expected that the Statement of Intent will replace the Memorandum of Understanding, which
was signed at the first HELA Conference.

 4.3 He went on to outline the draft programme plan, which would be discussed and agreed
by the Programme Board and endorsed by both the HSC and Local Government
Associations. It would build on existing good practice of partnership working; establish
arrangements for managing the partnerships including effective communications with LAs.
Joint working on regional basis would allow a focus on the Commission’s revitalising targets
as well as tacking local priorities. Guidance and support would be provided by HSE to allow
the partnership to work effectively. The new approach is expected to be flexible enough to
respond to emerging issues and respond with the most appropriate and effective

 4.4 The Strategic Programme will have four main work streams namely:
 I) front line work (building on what is currently happening);
ii) management arrangements to deliver partnership working (HELA EA Regs, planning, etc)
iii) support for partnership arrangements including intervention strategies, coordination of
interventions with national organisations, auditing and performance review; and
iv)communications, including development of communications with small businesses.

4.5 The Programme Board will be seeking ways of developing the partnership and looking
for some early successes. The review of HELA, further work on which has been held in
abeyance, would be picked up again when the programme was a little further forward In the
meantime HELA will continue in its present form. An interventions strategy would be
developed and contribute to the thinking about the approach to large multi-site companies. It
is intended that there would be an interchange of staff between HSE and the LAs hopefully
beginning with a senior secondment from HSE to LACORS. Summing up, Phil said that we
had made a good start but the programme was ambitious and much remained to be
developed. There was a need to show early progress such as in sharing information and
joint training. The programme had the full support of the Chair of HSC, Bill Callaghan, and
the Executive, and the work would make a major contribution to the new Strategy.

4.6 Phil asked for opportunities to develop his knowledge of local authorities and build up his
network of contacts and said he would welcome invitations to visit local authorities, attend
Chief officers Groups and any engagement with elected members
Action: HELA members to notify Phil of any opportunities.

4.7 Responding for the LA side, Derek Allen thanked Phil for the presentation and the
papers and looked forward to the partnership working with HSE, LGA, WLGA and CoSLA
and welcomed the secondment to LACORS. On the Statement of Intent he said we could
look forward to people taking ownership and delivering it. But they would have to establish a
means of resolving differences of opinion such as potentially on interventions with large
companies. On data sharing he welcomed peer review, dialogue and auditing but said that
caution was required on naming and shaming. We would need to engage with local and
national politicians but did not have any suggestions on the methodologies for tackling it. He
suggested that we need a communications strategy and a meeting with the new HSE
Director of Communications would be helpful. He offered access to the LGA publication –
Local Government First sent to 21,000 councillors weekly.

4.8 Janet Russell welcomed the initiatives at the last two HELA meetings and wanted
linkages to the local authority planning cycles. She asked for as much notice as possible of
the timescales required and sufficient time to complete each stage. Joint working with some
of the ELOs was better than others. She suggested that the Solicitors should be involved as

                                                                              HELA CP 87/01
early as possible on any review of the EA Regulations. Advance warning was required for
changes to back office systems to allow for changes to computer software.

4.9 Bill Myers asked for the Communications Strategy to be developed as a priority and for
HELA members to have regular updates on developments and progress.
4.10 Phil welcomed the support from LGA and LACORS; there had also been a positive
response from HSE. HSE’s Field Operations Directorate had agreed funding for 18 months
a Principal Inspector level, Partnership Manager post in each FOD Region in addition to the
existing ELO network. The Chair of HSC said that the EA Regs would be reviewed to
facilitate effective working and should not be an obstacle to progress.

4.11 Justin McCracken, HSE Joint Chair of HELA, said that the Minister and HSC/E were
very enthusiastic and positive about the programme. He said that the ‘Statement of Intent’
was consistent with the Commission’s Strategy and in particular its vision for health and
safety as a cornerstone of a civilised society. He asked for comments to be sent to Allan
Davies in LAU.

5. Occupational Health and Safety Support Provision CP 86/03

5.1 Monica Smith explained that emerging from a number of contiguous initiatives there was
the need to expand occupational health support provision. HSC’s Strategy recognises that it
needs to be delivered through a strategic and partnership approach. She hoped that Local
Authorities would be one of the key partners in progressing this work. The core of the
service would be proactive occupational health and safety advice for both employers and
workers with some medical support as needed. It would include the management of risks,
use best practice control measures, supply information and provide training, monitor health
trends, manage attendance and help people return to work.
5.2 The service would have to be actively marketed to raise awareness with customers and
clients including the self-employed. It would be available through various access points,
including a help line, which would offer a problem solving support service from H&S advisers
and signpost to a virtual network of specialist support including physiotherapists,
ergonomists and HR managers. These would be linked to a National Centre for Excellence,
which would give feedback on the advice and support given. To work it had to involve
partners, including local authorities and Health Authorities.
5.3 Peter Foley welcomed the initiative and said he had seen this multi-disciplinary
approach in some Local Authorities e.g. North Derbyshire and Kirklees. He strongly
supported the partnership approach, and said they should consider involving Primary Care
Trusts, and Jobcentre- Plus, which would support business and assist with returns to work.
PCTs may also be willing to contribute funds. There may be linkages with other initiatives
including NHS Direct

 5.4 Monica said that the service would be piloted to refine it before it was expanded
nationwide. HSE would be learning form the practical application of the occupational health
support model in Scotland, through Safe and Healthy Working.

6 Oral Updates on Policy Group – Nick Starling
Strategic Programme Plans

Nick Starling introduced his update from Policy Group. He said that the 2004/05 Plans had
now been agreed for all five Strategic programmes and these throw up some contrasting

•   H&S Hazards in the Major Hazards sector which include Railways, Pipelines, Offshore,
                                                                               HELA CP 87/01
    and Nuclear safety
• H&S Hazards build on firm foundations – centred on 5 existing hazards-based Priority
    Programmes (Stress, MSDs, Falls from Heights(FfH), Workplace Transport, Slips and
• Challenges are to integrate all these programmes to deliver the majority of HSC/E 2010
    targets and; to develop meaningful indicators to chart progress toward 2010;
New Interventions (NI) breaks new ground. Small share of 2010 targets but key to longer-
term development of H&S agenda/engaging others in developing that agenda and securing
lasting H&S improvements.
The Priority Programmes

6.1 Workplace Transport - Preventing Workplace Transport Accidents

•     Priority Programme team/LAU working to develop on line tool for analysis of workplace
      transport risks - specific to the LA enforced sector.

6.2      Falls from Height

•     Poster/leaflet campaign aimed at reducing falls amongst classroom staff being piloted by
      three LEAs (Glasgow/Sheffield/Trafford). Pilot project will run until Summer 2004 when
      it will be evaluated and consideration given to rolling out nationally.

6.3 Work at Height Regulations

•     Work at Height Regulations – CD issued 5 December runs until 2 April. LA comments
      particularly welcome. Regs unlikely to come into force before Autumn.

6.4 Musculoskeletal Disorders
• L23, Guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and INDG 163, Getting
    to Grips with Manual Handling both been revised and will be republished in March/April

6.5      Stress
   •     22 pilot organisations reported back Nov/Dec 2003 on experiences of piloting HSE's
         management standards approach. Evaluation continuing and full report to be
         published May 2004 to coincide with planned wider consultation. HSE currently
         considering innovative ways to engage stakeholders, including DVD
         presentation/downloadable video streams/ discussion forums on the Internet.


Transport Safety

6.6 Railways
•       Nick Starling reported on DfT’s rail review. He noted that HSE was working with DfT.
    The HSC/E view was that the Regulator for railway safety must be truly independent of
    industry/economic regulators, and have teeth to require things to be done by enforcing
•       . HSE was already developing proposals to simplify the legal framework, and are
    working with the industry on the application of its own standards.

                                                                               HELA CP 87/01
•       HSE gave evidence to the Transport Committee‘s enquiry into the Future of the


6.7 Ammonium Nitrate Materials (High Nitrogen Content) Regulations 2003. These are
DEFRA Regulations but there has been a lot of concern following the Toulouse explosion
Enquiries from Trading Standards Officers suggest that they are not fully aware of the
nature of ammonium nitrate, and are unnecessarily alarmed by substances that fail the
Detonation Resistance Test. AN has been used as the basis of fertiliser for many years, and
provided it is handled sensibly, it should not cause problems The safety risks are low. It was
agreed that LACORS would put out advice to all Trading Standards Officers.
Action: LACORS to draft and circulate advice to Trading Standards


6.8 Occupational Health and Safety Support Provision

•   A workshop and OHAC Open Meeting was held in November 2003 to look at what more
    we could do to tackle work-related ill health.
•   Went well, highlight being Des Browne's speech that set the broader picture of how he
    sees HSE's work contributing to DWP and wider government health agendas. LA
    contributions were important
•   Full speech/details available on Securing Health Together website (www.ohstrategy).

6.9 Worker Involvement in Health and Safety

HSC agreed a statement on 13 Jan on worker involvement and consultation that sets HSC’s
long-term agenda on this issue. The statement was published on 3 March and is available
on HSE’s website. It is an early deliverable from HSC’s new Strategy.

•   Statement makes case for WI&C based on core principles that workers given a
    voice/ability to influence H&S are safer/healthier than those who do not.

•   HSC believes that getting more workers involved in H&S is key for delivery of the new
    Strategic vision and targets.

Statement outlines areas of non-regulatory work in number of measures and sets context for
the WSA Challenge Fund (see below). The Minister has endorsed this approach.
• Measures are:
       I. Work to ensure training needs identified/means to develop competence of all
          workers, especially safety reps, is put in place/ working well.
      II. Work with safety reps to help them carry out their vital work.
     III. Support of the WSA Challenge Fund (see below)
    IV. Promotion of campaigns to highlight WI&C.
      V. Discussion with HSE and LAs the practical steps that could be taken to move this
          agenda forward.

       •   HSC/E is looking for social partners to sign and commit to statement.

       •   Worker involvement is cross cutting issue and statement about creating
           conditions for partnership delivery. HSE wants to engage HELA/LAs soon to help
           deliver the measures.

                                                                             HELA CP 87/01
The WSA Challenge Fund is new fund from DWP to extend workplace safety advice and
support into small funds. DWP identified £3m over 3 yrs from April. Prioritising 4 sectors:
construction, voluntary, retail, hospitality but not excluding good bids from other sectors.
Strong LA interest in these sectors. HSE is holding a workshop in Rose Court on 26 March
for interested bidders.

6.10 Corporate Responsibility (Tools)

Case studies
  • Launched by Chair of HSC on 4 February; HSC/E has 19 studies prepared to
      illustrate the business case for H&S.

Performance Index
  • HSE placed electronic version of corporate H&S performance index on its website;
  • Based on a ReIvitaling idea to secure help from others to influence companies to
      have better H&S performance, it is geared towards organisations with 250+

6.11 Job Retention and Rehabilitation

 HSC/E working in partnership with DWP/DH and others to prevent work related illness; to
develop initiatives to help sick, injured and disabled workers get back to work ASAP; and to
ensure sufficient occupational health support for employers.
• By summer 2004, HSE hopes to develop a best practice guide for employers/ managers
   on management of sickness/recovery and a tool for employers, especially aimed at
   SMEs, to help them collect/record/ measure sickness absence to target problem areas.

6.12 Chemicals Strategy

•      HELA members are encouraged to promote e-COSHH through their networks in
    England/Scotland/Wales and say what help they need from HSE.

•      LA staff at the HELA conference stated that they frequently hand out e-COSHH
    advice sheets to SMEs during H&S inspections and this helped to influence changes in
    behaviours and working practices.

•      Short-cut. HELA website and EHCnet will be linked to the e-COSHH website by the
    end of this month.

6.13 Corporate Manslaughter

    •   Home Office will be publishing proposals for new corporate manslaughter offence
        shortly – to be followed by a draft Bill later in the year

6.14 Other Issues
   • In accordance with the Work –related death Protocol, the Police and HSE would be
      working together to investigate the recent tragedy on the railways where a number of
      workers were killed when a stray wagon careered into them.
   • HSE reported briefly on the Morecambe Bay Tragedy – HSC wanted all workers to
      have the same protection whether they were working legally or otherwise. There
      were a number of agencies working together on this case. LAs may have local
      intelligence on activities in their patch, which they could give to their ELOs who

                                                                                 HELA CP 87/01
         would pass it on to the appropriate authorities. It was agreed in discussion that there
         were opportunities for data sharing on these issues.

7. AoB

7.1. Justin McCracken announced that the new Strategy would be launched on Monday,
23rd February. Advance copies were handed out but embargoed until the launch date.

7.2 The House of Commons Works and Pensions Committee on 16 January announced an
inquiry ‘to examine the work of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and
Safety Executive and the effectiveness of the current arrangements to promote high
standards of health and safety. The inquiry would look at the legislative framework,
consider whether HSE was on course to meet the Revitalising targets and if it had the
balance right between prevention and enforcement; and if it had adequate resources to deal
with existing hazards and those anticipated in the future. ( a handout from the website
issued to HELA members).

7.3 Allan Davies announced that the theme for the European Week of Safety and Health,
which would take place in October, would be ‘Construction’. The LA rep on the group was
Jenny Davenport from Manchester.

7.4 The next HELA meeting would be 25 May at Rose Court.

Meeting finished at 15.40.

LAU February 2004


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