Thursday 5 July 2012

PIAC to close after 32 years

The Printing Industry Advisory Committee, which was chaired and driven by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), supported by stakeholders from the industry has come to an end after 32 years.

The safety committee was set up and introduced by the regulator back in July 1979, to help improve safety standards for the industry when health and safety regulations began to swamp the workplace, in particular the early nineties.

The committee was responsible for monitoring accident trends, identifying target areas for campaigning, introducing guidance documents, supporting the HSE in developing Safe Systems of Work and many more areas of support, to help raise safety standards and for employers to comply with workplace health and safety regulations.

Certain committee members were also involved in the development of the well-known Printer's Guide to Health and Safety, a publication commonly known as the ‘printer's safety bible', and its ongoing updates. But sadly the committee closed at the end of its last meeting on 28th March 2012. The driver behind this decision has been the HSE and its unpopular Manufacturing Industries Sector Strategy document, which went to consultation back in August 2011, placing the Print sector in the band D category (low risk), and therefore, not requiring an IAC status. These decisions have been made due to harsh cutbacks in Government Office.

As a past member of this committee and a contributory author to The Printer's Guide to Health and Safety, I'd like to say how sad I am that this has happened. 

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