The Health and Safety Commission and the government have challenged Britain's top 350 companies to cut injuries and ill-health at work.

Their three-point plan might be extended to all companies with more than 250 employees.

Injuries and illness at work cost the country between £14bn and £18bn a year.

So environment Minister Michael Meacher and the HSC chairman Bill Callaghan are asking the big names in British industry to:

  • set ambitious but achievable targets for improving their companies' health and safety performance;
  • include their companies' health and safety performance in their 2001/2002 annual report, and in annual reports thereafter; and
  • report back by the end of May 2001 on progress made.

    The HSC has issued guidance to help companies meet these objectives.

    “This initiative is designed, as much as anything, to identify good practice, which we will recognise formally and seek to share throughout the industry as a whole,” HSC chairman Callaghan said.