Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents - History and Development

History and Development

RoSPA came into being in 1917 in response to the 'alarming increase in road accidents' during the First World War blackouts. Accident data were collected, and there was a call to license all drivers. Three children's safety competitions were run, involving 57,000 pupils, and a railway safety committee was established.

A campaign to change the pedestrian rule so that walkers face oncoming traffic was so successful that fatal accidents caused by pedestrians stepping into the path of vehicles fell by 70 per cent in 12 months. The Industrial "Safety First" Committee was established following this campaign. Nevertheless, the organisation estimates that 550,000 people have died on Britain's roads since Bridget Driscoll's death in 1896.

The organisation later became known as the British Industrial "Safety First" Association aiming to tackle workplace safety on a national scale. In 1920, HRH the Duke of York became president of the London Safety First Council as it was now known. In 1941, with the agreement of the King, the Association changed its name to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - the beginnings of the organisation as it is known today.

RoSPA's work concerns safety on the road, at work, in the home, at leisure, on and in the water as well as safety education for the young, with its mantra being 'prevention in proportion' and 'sensible safety'. The charity has always advocated that activities should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible - enabling people to take part in activities and manage their own risks.

RoSPA's income is derived largely from subscriptions, the sale of products and the provision of services - notably consultancy and training. The British Government also makes grants towards specific areas of RoSPA's activities.

RoSPA is governed by an executive committee and board of Trustees. The organisation employs approximately 120 staff, located in the head office in Birmingham and at regional offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The Society's patron is Her Majesty the Queen; Lord Jordan of Bournville became RoSPA's president in 2008.

RoSPA as well as a number of Health & Safety professional bodies (including the Health and Safety Executive) in 2011 developed the Occupational Safety & Health Consultants Register (OSHCR), a register of UK and Ireland health and safety consultants devised to assist employers and businesses to find approved safety consultants more easily.

Read more about this topic:  Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents

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