The British Safety Council is to set up a specialist unit to shape policy, undertake research, campaign and influence important workplace health and safety issues and future legislation.

Julie Nerney, British Safety Council chief executive, said: “The Think Tank will enable the British Safety Council to further influence and inform health and safety legislation, policy and debate, and engage with government and other key stakeholders on health and safety issues that really matter to businesses and workers alike.

“It will also allow us to spread knowledge about health and safety solutions, publish easy-to-follow practical guidance and work to help all employers achieve best practice in this area.

“The Think Tank will also raise our profile as a trusted organisation, independent in nature and with an authoritative voice.”

The Think Tank will be headed by Neal Stone, the British Safety Council’s new director of policy & research. Commenting on his appointment, Neal said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue the important work of utilising the considerable knowledge and experience of our member organisations to influence the future direction of health and safety policy and law.

“Our strengths are two-fold – our own and our members’ knowledge and proven track record in delivering and sustaining high quality health and safety in the workplace. Our goal is simple but challenging, that is, to help shape the health and safety landscape both in the UK and internationally and through that work help prevent work-related injuries and ill-health.”

The Think Tank will use its findings to influence and effect change among employers, trade associations, MPs and government. It will also identify and promote fresh and practical solutions to the root causes of safety problems; promote the benefits of a sensible approach to safety; and run campaigns on issues such as young worker safety and the safety challenges facing small businesses. In addition, the Think Tank will work in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive and others to provide support to employers and others, particularly small businesses.