Should safety be fashionable?

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02 Aug 2016

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Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is a huge fashion fanatic, having sat front row at a Vivienne Westwood show in March, so it’s perhaps no surprise that he opposed having an "ugly" modification added to his racing car; yet changed his mind having understood just how much safer he could be as a result. The modification, a halo head protection device, could increase a Formula 1 driver’s chance of surviving a head injury by 17%. Plans for the device were announced in February, coincidentally at the same time as the UK government introduced tougher sentencing guidelines for serious health and safety breaches. Croner’s Health and Safety Team Leader, Stephen Thomas, comments: "This goes to show the value of positive consultation with employees on high-risk safety issues. Educating and engaging with employees about the value of health and safety measures is so critical to them accepting what are sometimes unpopular decisions but which are actually in everyone’s best interests. Hamilton’s stance changed when he realised how the safety device could significantly improve drivers’ chances of survival. If employees know why they are being asked to act in a certain way at work then this is more likely to ensure that they act appropriately. Health and safety should always be a number one priority for organisations, as it saves lives and protects health. The fact that Hamilton’s word is being hung on to also shows that messages filter down from the top ranks, therefore it is vital directors and business owners lead by example.” For more information on Croner’s health and safety services, please call 0800 032 4088.

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