Health and Safety Executive has no plans for national roll-out of successful worker safety advisers scheme.
The Health and Safety Executive has written a glowing report about the impact of the roving safety reps trial but has deferred a decision over long-term funding.

The worker safety advisers pilot scheme, which lasted nine months, appointed safety officials to provide guidance to construction sites across the country.

The report noted that improvements in the approach to health and safety had been identified at a number of small non-unionised workplaces that WSA officials had visited.

The report said that companies involved in the scheme had "increasing internal communication and consultation on health and safety matters, with new structures developing to support ongoing health and safety activities".

  The report claimed that 75% of the 88 companies involved had changed their approach to health and safety as a result of the pilot.

However, an HSE spokesperson said that it was not yet possible to make a decision about funding the development of the project. She said: "We don't know how it's going to develop, so at the moment there's nothing to fund. It is up to individual companies to decide how to take it forward."

The Federation of Master Builders, which provided employers for the HSE pilot trials, said it was committed to the expansion of the scheme but warned that it would need government backing.

FMB director of external relations Andrew Large said that it was still unclear how any expansion would be financed.

He said: "We are very enthusiastic about it but there will need to be a more sustainable funding structure."

Large added that in the longer term there should be tripartite funding from the government, unions and employers.

He said: "The next thing we need is something to maintain momentum, either a regional scheme or a national roll-out. But if we invest in a national roll-out that doesn't work, that's not a good result."

The HSE report, prepared by York Consulting with Fife College of Further and Higher Education, covered the progress of the roving rep scheme in the construction industry and the engineering, hospitality and voluntary sectors.