CHAS on the agenda for European workshop

Merton’s health and safety scheme could gain EU recognition

Merton Council’s innovative contractors assessment website, CHAS, is set to be discussed at a European workshop for health and safety in Spain and could become recognised by the European Union.

The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) was created by Merton on behalf of local authorities across the UK and is a database of contractors offering a range of services.

The database is accessed via a website and contains information about contractors who have demonstrated, or failed to demonstrate that they have adequate health and safety management arrangements.

It was launched in June this year and public organisations across the UK can consult CHAS if they plan to use a contractor, to see if it has already been assessed.

The scheme not only helps contractors to improve their health and safety management but removes the need for the same contractors to be assessed again and again, saving time and money.

The European Agency for Safety and Health has invited the scheme’s manager to attend a workshop in Bilbao in early October to discuss the recognition of schemes such as CHAS by the European Union and how it could be transferred and used in member states.

John Murphy, Safety and Emergency Planning Manager and the CHAS scheme manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to put CHAS and Merton on the European map. The scheme has already been hugely successful here in the UK and the fact that it has been singled out by European Agency is very encouraging.

“These are early stages, but there is a very real possibility that a scheme created and run by Merton Council could be recognized by the European Union and used as a template for similar schemes across the continent.”