A new guide is to be launched next week that will highlight the health and safety responsibilities of local councillors.

The guide, entitled Think About Health and Safety – What elected members of local authorities need to know, is to be launched in London on Monday.

President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Public Services Group, Nattasha Freeman, who is behind the guide, said that although the sector often “gets a bit of a bashing” the new guide is a “sensible approach” to the subject.

Ms Freeman added: “Nine out of ten times local authorities get health and safety judgements right.

“‘Conkers bonkers’ stories detract from the 19 deaths and 6,500 major injuries to public service employees highlighted in our guide.

“Elected members have a much bigger responsibility for health and safety than they probably realise.”

The brand new guide will be distributed free of charge to every council leader in England, Wales and Scotland.