Electricity Industry Health and Safety Initiative Recognised in New National Strategy

1 March 2016

The electricity industry’s successful Powering Improvement health and safety initiative has been held up as an example of best practice in a new national strategy, launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) yesterday (29th February).

‘Helping Great Britain Work Well’ has been developed to bring a renewed emphasis on improving health in the workplace and build on the UK’s highly successful track record on safety. HSE has set out six strategic themes to provide a focus for this important work, and the ‘Acting Together’ theme has singled out Powering Improvement as a case study of effective collaboration.

 In 2010 the electricity industry though ENA and Energy UK member companies came together with trade unions and the HSE to launch the Powering Improvement strategy, which set the ambitious target of establishing the UK power sector as a world leader in health and safety performance by 2015. A second phase of PI was launched last year, with many of the same partners continuing their association with the programme highlighting the success of this collaborative approach.

The case study included in the new strategy describes how, “Powering Improvement provides an overarching framework of support to individual company programmes and is proving effective in helping achieve the further step change required in the drive towards leading performance”.

Speaking following the strategy launch, ENA Chief Executive David Smith said;

 “The electricity industry has always considered close co-operation with HSE as a crucial part of an effective health and safety strategy. With Powering Improvement now in its second phase we look forward to continuing our collaboration with HSE and supporting the important new strategy, "Helping Great Britain Work Well.”

 Trade unions have been vital partners in the Powering Improvement strategy, and Prospect Deputy General Secretary Garry Graham also welcomed the launch. He said;

 “From its inception, we have worked hard for Powering Improvement to become a beacon of best practice. Building on a relationship of trust, we share our knowledge from initiatives that work well and learn from events together when things go wrong. Fundamental to this is the commitment of trade unions and employers to work together with the support of the HSE to make sure that health and safety is a priority from the board room to the front line.”

 Highlighting the importance of close working between unions and energy companies, Unite’s Kevin Coyne said:

 “Powering Improvement has been a model of trade union involvement with employers and the Energy Networks Association. It has generated a joint commitment to a positive work programme designed to target agreed health and safety issues over several years.

 Powering Improvement has enabled disagreements to be resolved through debate and discussion and for activity on health and safety to take place throughout ENA, the energy companies and individual workplaces, with trade union involvement at all levels.”

 ENDS

 Notes for Editors

 ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland. 

 Further information on the Powering Improvement initiative is available at www.poweringimprovement.org. 

 Further information on ‘Helping Britain Work Well’ is available on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/strategy 

 For additional information contact: 

Matthew Pringle 

Press and Public Affairs Officer 

Energy Networks Association 

E: [email protected] 

T: 0207 706 5118     M: 07792220974