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Health and Safety - Sensible Risk Management

Basildon Council, as a health and safety enforcing authority, aims to promote sensible risk management. To support this aim, the council has signed up to the Health and Safety Executives Sensible Risk Management Campaign. (opens new window).

The Facts About Health and Safety

Popular stories abound about health and safety banning everything from ladders to school trips. Many of these stories are no more than urban myths, but others have some basis in fact. Sometimes a well-meaning, but poorly-informed manager has gone beyond what the law, and common sense, dictate. On other occasions health and safety may be used as a convenient scapegoat to justify an unpopular decision taken for other reasons.

Sensible risk management is about:

» ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected

» balancing benefits and risks with a focus on reducing real risk (where the consequences can be serious)

» enabling innovation and learning, not stifling them

» ensuring risks are managed responsibly

» enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have a duty to act responsibly

Sensible risk management is not about: 

× creating a totally risk free society

× generating useless paperwork mountains

× scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks

× stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed

× reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm or suffering

Sensible Risk Management Campaign

This campaign focuses on providing practical steps to protect people from the real risks and avoid bureaucratic back covering. Part of this involves the promotion of a series of simple toolkits, e.g. "Health and Safety Made Simple" (opens new window) which quickly takes employers through their health and safety duties explaining what they need to do and how to do it, including:

  • appointing a competent health and safety adviser
  • writing a health and safety policy
  • completing risk assessments
  • consulting with employees
  • providing adequate levels of training and welfare facilities
  • obtaining Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance

Where necessary, the guidance provides signposts to more detailed help and industry-specific advice. 

Example risk assessments for different types of businesses can also be found at Health and Safety Executives Example Risk Assessments. (opens new window)

If you need further information please see the Health and Safety Executive Website (opens new window) or, if you have a specific query regarding a business in the Basildon Borough, please contact us.