40AT40: Health and safety voices from the frontline

Voices from the frontline: celebrating 40 years of enabling health and safety

From fairgrounds to farms, building sites to factories, Prospect union is today (Thursday) celebrating the 40th anniversary of a ground-breaking report that transformed the UK's health and safety landscape.

Prospect Health and Safety Executive branch members have shared 40 stories of their experiences on the frontline since a report chaired by Alf Robens in 1972 laid the foundations for the Health and Safety at Work Act and the creation of the HSE.

Their extraordinary and diverse experiences are published today on Prospect's website and demonstrate the ongoing importance of a profession whose roots date back to the cruelty and grime of 19th-century mills.

"40AT40 is a fascinating collection of contemporary personal insights from people who rarely make their voices public, yet make an enormous difference to the health, safety and dignity of working people and their families," said Prospect health and safety officer Sarah Page.

"We are privileged to share these stories and celebrate achievements that have brought about safer and healthier workplaces."

Page added that the Health and Safety at Work Act had helped saved the lives of countless UK workers, as well as members of the public. "Contrary to its portrayal by an ill-informed minority, the HSW Act has enabled companies to carry out their business successfully by building consensus into standards.

"Working together, industry, workforce and regulatory representatives have adopted intelligent, practical solutions to workplace dangers. This is underpinned by a common desire to ensure people return home from work as safe and well as when they left."

You can read or download 40AT40 at the Prospect website, at www.prospect.org.uk/40at40 The 40 stories will also be tweeted over the next 40 working days with the hashtag #40at40.

The union for professionals, managers and specialists represents more than 1,600 health and safety inspectors in the HSE and Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.