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New Study Will Examine Attitudes to Health and Safety

September 27, 2013
Health and Safety

The Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) are to fund a new study by the Universities of Reading and Portsmouth that aims to look at why Health and Safety is generally unpopular with the public despite saving thousands of lives. Researchers will interview key stakeholders including former regulators, politicians, and employers over a two year period. Public focus groups will also be used to analyse how attitudes to Health and Safety have changed over the last 50 years.

Professor Paul Almond, from the University of Reading?s School of Law and the project?s Principal Investigator, said: ?Rates of injury and death have fallen, and health and safety management is an accepted part of business. But public hostility towards ?elf and safety? has increased dramatically, with negative media coverage of these issues coming to the fore. So why do we seem to think so badly of laws that, on the face of it, to have been a success story and what can be done to alter public perception??

In launching its Myth Busters website the Health and Safety Executive have attempted to dispel common misconceptions including the need for children to wear googles when playing conkers and the need to remove glasses on bouncy castles. The site has so far given advice on 211 cases since it started in April 2012. Jane White IOSH Research and Information Manager is hoping the current study will highlight the value of legislation despite the recent trend for deregulation.?The UK Government is currently focused on ?reducing the burden of health and safety?, yet countries and policy-makers the world over see the UK legislative framework as the exemplar and have emulated or just plain copied our systems,? she said.

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