Fourth safety minister in two years as Penning out after nine months

By on

Government responsibility for health and safety has passed to its fourth MP in the space of two years after Mike Penning was moved on after only nine months in the job as part of a government-wide reshuffle.

His replacement is the former immigration minister Mark Harper, who has sat on the Conservative party backbenches since he resigned in February. He is understood to have met with HSE chair Judith Hackitt on his first full day in the job.

Penning has now been made minister of state for policing, criminal justice and victims, a joint post in both the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. Harper resigned earlier this year after it emerged he had unknowingly employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work in the UK.

A chartered accountant and noted Euro-sceptic, Harper entered the House of Commons for the Forest of Dean in 2005. He served as minister for political and constitutional reform in the Home Office between 2010 and 2012, and as shadow minister for defence and shadow minister for disabled people while the Conservatives were in opposition.

Outgoing minister for disabled people Mike Penning held the post since October 2013. Prior to Penning, the position was held by Mark Hoban, but he only managed to hold on to it for a year before he was demoted to the backbenches. Chris Grayling, now the justice secretary, held the post between the coalition coming to power in May 2010 and September 2012.

The move comes at a time of upheaval for HSE, as it takes the first steps down the road to “meeting a much larger proportion of its costs from commercial activities” and before it appoints its new chief executive in the autumn.



Lawrence Waterman Chairman of British Safety Council-editedSMLL.jpg

Charity work: inspiring and professional

By Lawrence Waterman OBE's first column for Safety Management on 09 May 2018

It is always pleasing when expectations are exceeded, when people are surprised because their experience is so much better than what they were expecting. Here at the British Safety Council we have several ways of doing that, often employed in a combination that brings a smile to the lips.


Don’t take safety for granted

By Mike Robinson, chief executive of the British Safety Council on 11 May 2018

The principle of continual improvement has long been accepted as a key component of effective health and safety management, and the plan-do-check-act cycle is widely recognised throughout the world.

Future risk iStock-SMLL credit-zoranm.jpg

Good work for all, today and tomorrow

By Matthew Holder, head of campaigns at the British Safety Council, introduces a new report on future risk on 23 February 2018

The British Safety Council has produced a new literature review on how changes to the way we work are likely to change risks to our health, safety and wellbeing in the future.