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ALG Workplan

Background

With effect from 1 April 2008 the merger of HSC and HSE was effected, the two bodies being replaced by a single board of non-executive directors comprising those who were previously Commissioners. The HSE Board has taken an early decision to review what was previously HSC’s strategy, and has agreed to publish a new strategy by the end of 2008, taking a longer-term view for the next five years.

Prompted by this considerable constitutional change, the new HSE Board took the opportunity at its April 2008 meeting to consider a paper by Giles Denham, HSE Policy Director, on a proposed framework for bodies (including advisory bodies) appointed by the new HSE Board. Although the ALG is not, at present in this category of groups, it is important to consider this framework for the future work of the ALG. This paper can be found at: The way forward for bodies established under governance of the HSE board PDF[1]

The paper describes the background to the existing framework for bodies established by HSC. It suggests that the HSC/E merger provides an opportunity to step back from what it describes as a serial reconstitution process, and to allow consideration of a range of future options for bodies to advise the HSE board. The framework proposes a distinction between those bodies established to manage risks and those established to identify and assess risks. It goes on to discuss potential governance structures for each type of body.

The document 'A Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond[2]' identifies five big strategic issues which must be addressed:

  • health;
  • HSE’s role in public protection and security;
  • the role of LAs;
  • a changing economy in a changing world; and
  • business and reputation management.

The ALG occupies a key position in delivering outcomes with these issues, much of which are connected with on going work of the ALG. This can be demonstrated by:

  • improvements in occupational health provision to supplement the Regulation 22 statutory medical;
  • ensuring licensed contractors work ensures public safety by:
    • removing risks associated with asbestos (e.g. removal or encapsulation);
    • on completion of asbestos work site clearance is carried out ensuring asbestos risk is eliminated;
  • working towards improved co-operation between HSE and LAs;
  • involvement of clients who not only have a Regulation 4 duty to manage, but also a role of putting out to tender asbestos work and appointing asbestos contractors; and
  • improvements in leadership.

It is also worth noting that the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 came into force on 1st August 1984. Although subsequently amended, and now revoked and incorporated into, and by, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, the 25th anniversary of licensing will occur in 2009. It would be good to recognise this in some way.

Proposal

To develop a strategy for the ALG to work to and embed this into the work of the ALG by adopting a work plan with key performance measures to address the strategic issues. It is important to recognise that other advisory committees, boards and councils[3], in which the ALG is included, have workplans, work programmes etc.

With over 5000 deaths a year from asbestos it is important to realise that the work of the ALG could be under greater scrutiny. The benefit of having a workplan is that it will be a method of highlighting our work to others, and promote our achievements.

The draft strategy and workplan contain details and actions under specific topics of ALG work.

ALG Strategy 2008 to 2010

  1. The ALG’s strategy will focus on delivering the issues contained in A Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyondwithin the asbestos industry, in particular;
    • by developing closer partnerships;
    • by promoting more effective heath and safety management and a sensible health and safety culture; and
    • communicating this to all relevant organisations and persons
  2. The ALG will:
    • focus attention on where the industry performs poorly so as to get best results;
    • promote greater involvement of workers – recognising that the people best placed to make asbestos work safer are the workers, supervisors and their managers;
    • contribute to making information and advice clearer and simpler; and
    • champion involving all stakeholders and forging closer working relationships where everyone has a voice and can contribute

The ALG Workplan 2008 – 2010

1. Leadership

All licensed contractors have been invited, and the vast majority have attended ‘the leadership events’ that were held throughout the UK. Now it is time to ensure that they have adopted and implemented the measures they were informed about.

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Implementing leadership actions for Directors and Board Members as identified in the Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) Document. ARCA
ACAD
and other trade associations
Raising the issue during audits of members. Ensuring all member contractors have action plans to deliver, and implementation of the actions.
RICS
BIFM
As clients, ensuring contracts are awarded only to those contractors who can demonstrate competence by action plans and measures taken to implement. Feed back from ARCA and ACAD that contractors are being assessed by clients at tender, with reference to the IOD/HSC leadership actions.
HSE
LAs
Using the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure IOD/HSC actions are implemented. Enforcement statistics and licence assessment actions.

Target dates: All contractors to have action plans by March 2009, and implementation by December 2009.

2. Worker involvement

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Ensuring all asbestos workers are consulted and involved with key issues affecting their, and others, health and safety. ARCA
ACAD
and other trade associations
Developing the registered asbestos worker database.
Ensuring all members use ARCA/ACAD ‘registered workers’, and using the registered worker database to communicate with workers.  Consulting employees and their representatives on all matters to do with their health and safety, including involving them in risk assessments. Ensuring no employee of a member is disadvantaged by using their legal right to be consulted.
All asbestos workers employed by members are registered on the database(s).
UCATT
UNITE
GMB
Ensure all members are registered and informed of their rights (under both consultation regulations & safety rep/committee regulations). Guidance and publications aimed at asbestos workers.
HSE
LAs
Consulting with employees and their representatives during inspections and providing them with information; appropriate use of legislation. Inspection reports and enforcement statistics.

Target dates: Full implementation by April 2010

3. Competence & training

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Developing a competency assessment scheme which can feed into the training needs analysis (TNA) (required for refresher training). UKATA
  1. Develop a competency assessment scheme and measures to implement.
  2. Implement a qualification leading to CSCS card.
  3. Ensure members only provide refresher training based on a TNA.
Implementation of competency scheme.
Award of CSCS cards.
ARCA
ACAD and other trade associations
  1. Cooperate with UKATA in developing a competency scheme and qualifications, and ensuring members use TNA for refresher training.
  2. Include competency information in worker registration database(s).
  3. Implement a mandatory scheme for all members (NVQ/CSCS) at operative, supervisor, manager etc. level.
Functional database(s) with competency information.
UCATT
UNITE
GMB
Ensure workers cooperate in achieving competency standards. Guidance and publications aimed at asbestos workers.
RICS
BIFM
Provide guidance on tendering for asbestos work. Ensure members when tendering use competency criteria.
(As detailed in action 5)
Guidance and publications

Target dates: scheme fully implemented during 2010, CSCS cards in 2011

4. Occupational Health Provision

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Ensuring all asbestos workers receive occupational health medicals, covering, as a minimum, fitness to work issues, to supplement the statutory medical. ARCA
ACAD and other trade associations
  • Ensuring, as part of the audit process, all members provide occupational health medicals (e.g. with Constructing Better Health).
  • Using the worker registration database(s) to ensure workers occupational health records (subject to medical confidentiality are maintained).
  • Ensuring members manage fitness to work issues.
Number contactors “signed up to schemes such as CBH.Functional database.
UCATT
UNITE
GMB
Explaining to workers the benefits of good health and occupational health provision.. Guidance and publications aimed at asbestos workers.
HSE
LAs
Using the management regulations (Reg 6) in addition to CAR Reg 22 to improve occupational health provision. Inspection reports and enforcement statistics.

Target dates: Contractors fully signed up with occupational health provision by December 2010

5. Client Actions

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Ensuring competency assessments are used in tendering process for licensed asbestos work. RICS
BIFM
Issuing guidance to members on competency assessments (explaining licences are a minimum requirement). Reference can be made to the ALG strategy/workplan, training certificates / CSCS cards and Regulation 4 of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for guidance. Guidance issued. ARCA and ACAD providing evidence that it is being applied.

Target date: Initial guidance issued in spring 2009, followed by further guidance with input from ARCA, ACAD and UKATA by end 2010.

6. HSE / LA cooperation

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Ensuring all enforcing inspectors are adequately trained and resourced. HSE
LAs
HSE to provide and offer training to LAs. EHOs attending training courses.
Ensuring information is shared between HSE and LAs. HSE
LAs
Exploring with LG Regulation (formerly LACORS) and LAU methods (e.g. via HELA) how best information can be shared. Improved training for LAs. Information provision to ALU

Target date: Implementation 2009 onward

7. Analysts

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Improve the quality of analytical work, especially clearance certification. ATAC Working with members & UKAS to improve standards and ensure higher standards are achieved and maintained. UKAS assessment each year
Mandatory refresher training
  UKATA Develop training modules on pre cleaning prior to removal work. Development of training modules
  RICS
BIFM
Ensuring clients appoint independent analysts and contactors (which will include SLHs). Guidance and publications

Target date: During 2010

8. Duty to Manage

ActionsWhoHowPerformance measures
Ensure a minimum training requirement for professional bodies/Trade unions working in or on building. ATAC
UKAS
RICS
BIFM
(APS/UKAS)
UCATT
UNITEGMB
Working with members & UKAS/APS to improve standards and ensure higher standards are achieved and maintained. All Professional bodies involved with buildings to ensure all members are on database and receive annual training. Introduce membership schemes to prove training.
UKATA Develop training modules Development of training modules
Improve the quality of survey work, ATAC HSE Working with members & UKAS to improve standards and ensure higher standards are achieved and maintained.
Promote accreditation and certification more robustly than to date
Reduction in survey complaints and claims
UKATA Develop training modules on surveying and introduce competency assessments Increase in certification / accreditation
RICS
BIFM
Provide guidance on selecting a surveyor and advise on risks of ill trained non-competent surveyors Guidance and publications
Ensure all premises are compliant to Regulation 4 HSE /LAs
ATAC
BIFM
RICS
Ensuring clients manage asbestos in accordance with L127. Monitoring of inspection activity.
Monitoring of client compliance.

Target date: During 2010