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NEW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY APPOINTED

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Nick Brown has been appointed as the new minister responsible for ...
Nick Brown has been appointed as the new minister responsible for

health and safety, Andrew Smith, secretary of state for work and

pensions announced today.

The appointment follows the decision by the prime minister that the

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would take over responsibility

for health and safety from the former DTLR. Mr Brown will remain as minister

for work and retains all his previous responsibilities.

Mr Smith said:

'I look forward to working with Nick Brown and the Health and Safety

Commission (HSC) on delivering improved health and safety at work.

Everyone has the right to a safe work environment. By engaging with

employers and trade unions we will promote the message that good

businesses manage their health and safety proactively and in

collaboration with employees.'

Mr Brown said:

'I'm delighted to take on this important task. I intend to work

closely with Bill Callaghan and the Health and Safety Commission, as

well as ministerial colleagues in other departments to build an

agenda for 'welfare in work' to complement the Welfare to Work

agenda.

'With recruitment and retention increasingly important at this time

of record employment, improving health and safety at work will

benefit employees and employers alike.'

HSC chair Bill Callaghan said:

'I am very encouraged to be working with the DWP. Our health and

safety agenda is about improving the quality of working life, as well

as preventing people being killed or injured at work. At a time when

there are more people in work than ever before, it is vital that we

do all we can to ensure that they return home in as good shape as

they set out. People are entitled to expect that in a civilised

society and a high performance modern economy depends on a healthy

workforce.

'Good health and safety demands an effective partnership between

government, employers and workers and their safety representatives.

We look forward to close collaboration with DWP to deliver the

national improvement targets, which HSC agreed with the government,

to reduce the social and economic toll of health and safety failures

in Britain. With them, we shall continue to encourage higher

standards of health and safety in the private sector, while still

pressing the public sector to lead by example. Together we can

champion health and safety excellence and spread a positive safety

culture throughout British industry in both larger and small firms.'

* The previous minister with responsibility for health and safety at

the former DTLR was Alan Whitehead.

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