James Tye, the founder of the British Safety Council, has been remembered by the BBC programme The One Show, which has run a feature on his efforts to improve safety in Britain.
The programme has marked the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), which Tye was instrumental in bringing to life, after decades of campaigning on safety issues such as the use of life-jackets and seat belts. It showed interviews with Tye and British Safety Council trustee, Lawrence Waterman, as well as former Chief Press Officer, Tim Challis, who worked with Tye in the 1980s.
Alex Botha, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said that Tye was one of a few people in the 1950s and Sixties who single-mindedly campaigned to make the world safer.
“He was clearly seized by a mission to protect people from harm,” said Botha. “As an advertising man, he used his skills to effectively capture the attention of the public and media to shame those who endangered others.”
“Over 1,000 workers were being killed at work in Great Britain when James began in the late 1950s. Given that since then to today we have seen a reduction of fatalities by 85%, it is clear that James’s efforts have borne fruit. His legacy is plain to see not only in the legal framework created by the 1974 Act but also in something like the London 2012 Olympic build where for the first time no worker was killed.”
The British Safety Council was founded by Tye in 1957 and has educated people about risks at work, principally though training, audits and campaigns, for nearly 60 years.