Safer communities: six lessons in health and safety

Many small businesses, charities and community groups perceive health and safety as a burden. Yet, there is plenty of evidence to show that successful activities are safe activities. Local businesses and community groups can’t operate or help others if they are unsafe. 

Safer Communities is a set of free resources which will enable people with experience in health and safety, human resources and people development (i.e. trainers, facilitators and mentors) to run short workshops for SMEs and voluntary groups for their local communities.

It is one of the initiatives which the British Safety Council launched in 2017 to celebrate 60 years of its campaigning activities and its contribution to improving the health and safety of workers in Britain.

The 90-minute workshop gives people a framework and an overview of how to identify and assess common risks. The workshop material includes:

  • A presentation with key messages and visuals
  • A video demonstration on how to run a 90-minute worship
  • A tutor brief
  • Cards with key messages for use by facilitators
  • Three case studies, which are examples of how the hazards and risks can be identified and dealt with.

The British Safety Council resource is aimed at the people who will be running the workshops and it focuses on three themes:

  • Risk assessment
  • Learning from incidents
  • Managing your activities. 

Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns and Engagement at the British Safety Council, said: “At a time when health and safety is often perceived as an unnecessary and complex burden, particularly by small businesses and community groups, attending a workshop based on these simple resources will help them manage most of their common risks. The British Safety Council has 60 years of expertise in developing learning tools and we have drawn upon this experience to develop resources that people can trust.

“It is also an opportunity for larger organisations, and their people with backgrounds in health and safety, human resources and people development, to reach out to their communities and give something back. This is how larger businesses can help smaller companies and meet their corporate social responsibility objectives.”