Striking the balance - sensible risk management in local government

10 June 2013

Adopting a proportionate approach is essential for ensuring local authorities address real risks and do not waste limited resources on everyday and insignificant risks. Council leaders and senior managers have a strong influence on sensible health and safety decision-making – and have a key role in helping bust the myths that divert attention from the real risks.  You can read more in an article aimed at local authority senor managers and councillors and published by the Association for Public Service Excellence on page 24 of APSE Direct News -

Busting the myths of elf and safety’

The APSE article refers to four tips to help councils promote sensible decision-making - see below. These were derived from HSE's analysis of the first 100 cases dealt with by its Myth Busters Challenge Panel. The Panel was set up to allow individuals or organisations to challenge decisions made in the name of health and safety that they believe are disproportionate or inaccurate. 

Four simple tips to help councils promote sensible decision-making on health and safety:

  • Find out if it really is a health and safety concern
  • Look for health and safety solutions that help you deliver your services – not for health and safety obstacles to stop them
  • Ensure that all your health and safety precautions pass the test of being sensible and proportionate
  • Communicate all your risk management decisions clearly and honestly

Public Services Group members might find the article and tips useful when discussing sensible risk issues with councillors and managers.

IOSH PSG June 2013.