Health and Safety Executive seeks agency for asbestos risk brief

The Health and Safety Executive has launched a search for an agency to warn the public about the life-threatening danger of asbestos.

Danger: HSE wants to raise the risk asbestos poses to workers
Danger: HSE wants to raise the risk asbestos poses to workers

The HSE has kicked off the six-figure hunt for help after it began discussions with the Government around a possible campaign.

Any work would target those in industries where dealing with asbestos may be an issue.

PRWeek understands that three briefs have been drawn up for agencies to lead the comms work, provide insight and offer partnership marketing, with at least one currently available on the Creative Choice procurement framework.

However, a spokesman for HSE said the campaign was still at the proposal stage.

He said: ‘The Health and Safety Executive remains in discussion with the Cabinet Office regarding a further asbestos campaign. We are currently exploring how a campaign – to warn about the serious health risks working with asbestos can create – might be developed.’

The plans would follow on from a widespread campaign rolled out by HSE on the issue under the tagline ‘a hidden killer.’ Launched in October 2008, the campaign was a mix of PR and advertising, and featured former Arsenal footballer Ian Wright.

In recent years, a number of businesses have been fined for safety failings after their workers were exposed to the risk of cancer, as well as scarring of the lungs. The HSE attributes 4,500 deaths a year to asbestos, calling it the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.

Creative Choice is a leading public sector procumbent body, which PRWeek reported on 27 June was considering charging agencies to use its services.

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