Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda


"Water Ahead" The Strategic Plan for Joint Liaison


  HSE's Utilities National Interest Group (UNIG) and the Water UK Health and Safety Horizontal Group (H/SHG) recognise the benefits of working together on health and safety matters in the water sector. This Strategic Plan identifies priorities for joint discussion and action.

  This Plan also recognises that the key interface between HSE and the water industry is the H/SHG. However both industry and HSE may have other topics they wish to address independently and recognise that other people will be involved in health and safety discussions.

2.  AIMS

  UNIG and H/SHG have common health and safety aims. These are:

    —  To work jointly with health and safety stakeholders in the water industry to increase mutual understanding, health and safety awareness, and continue to improve standards.

    —  To provide a centre of health and safety expertise and to give mutual support.


  UNIG and H/SHG have agreed that the following are key objectives:

3.1  Improving Communications and Working with Industry

  To improve communications, UNIG and H/SHG will:

    —  Act as points of contact for respective HSE and water industry organisations on health and safety matters.

    —  Be the focal point for discussion about existing and proposed legislation.

    —  Meet on a regular basis to discuss progress on health and safety subjects.

    —  Work in an open way to identify priority items for action and development of solutions.

    —  Participate in Focus Groups to agree and report on actions required to protect employees and promote health and safety.

3.2  Raising the Profile of Health and Safety Management

  UNIG and H/SHG will work together to:

    —  Encourage awareness of the benefits of effective health and safety management and increase understanding of the application of legislation to water industry working practices.

    —  Enhance understanding of the commercial benefits of safe and healthy working.

3.3  Occupational Health Strategy for Great Britain

  UNIG and H/SHG will work together to ensure that occupational health issues are highlighted, prioritised and addressed.

    —  We will set and strive to achieve occupational health targets.

    —  We will support the UK Strategy for the improvement of our nation's health and economic strength.

3.4  Dealing with Change

  Utilities is a changing sector and opportunities will be sought to consider and deal with the health and safety implications of:

    —  Delayering.

    —  Contracting out.

    —  Diversifying.

3.5  Improving Consistency

  Opportunities will be sought to develop suitable means to improve consistency of approach by industry and Inspectors and to have open local dialogue based on priorities in the Strategic Plan.

3.6  Gaining Intelligence

  UNIG and H/SHG will continue to seek and utilise comprehensive information, including accident and ill health information, in order to identify potential areas for investigation within the water industry and target resources to priorities.

3.7  Monitoring New Developments

  UNIG and H/SHG will look at the use of new technology in the sector to assist in the development of appropriate health and safety guidance.

HSE National Interest Group

Water UK Health and Safety Horizontal Group

April 1999

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Prepared 26 October 1999