Leaders urged to shape Britain’s health and safety strategy
Leading industry figures and key influencers are being urged to have a say in how the future strategy for Great Britain’s health and safety system will be shaped.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published six themes that the five-year health and safety strategy will cover, as it begins engaging the people and organisations it thinks can help the nations and regions of Great Britain work well.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt, who was made a dame in the 2016 New Year honours list, said: “We can be proud of the country’s record on work-related safety and health – it’s one of the best in the world. Making it even better is the challenge, so that we can all continue to help Great Britain work well. Getting risk management right is an enabler for productivity, innovation and growth, and is integral to business success as well as the wellbeing of workers.
“We’re starting a conversation with a wide range of influencers – including employers, workers, local and central government, unions, other regulators and key representative groups – because it’s important that this is a strategy for all, shaped by all.”
The six themes for the strategy are:
- Promoting broader ownership of workplace health and safety;
- Highlighting and tackling the burden of work-related ill-health;
- Supporting small firms;
- Enabling productivity through proportionate risk management;
- Anticipating and tackling the challenges of new technology and ways of working; and
- Sharing the benefits or Great Britain’s approach.
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, with responsibility for health and safety, said: “In Government, we are determined to build a more productive Britain, one that rewards hard work and helps all to benefit from the opportunities of economic growth.
“It is essential that health and safety is part of that, supporting British employers in their ambition and supporting workers who want to get on.
“Taking sensible steps to keep workers safe and well is something that the best-run businesses do. It’s good for people, it’s good for productivity and it’s good for growth.”
The HSE highlighted that while there has been a huge reduction in the number of deaths and injuries at work in the 4o years since the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 was introduced with 86% fewer fatalities in 2014/15 than in 1974, there is still huge room for improvement with 142 people suffering a fatality at work and over 1.2 million people suffering from work-related illness.
The cost of the number of injuries and cases of ill-health can be shown in monetary terms, with businesses and government in Great Britain bearing the cost of over £14.3 billion.
More information on how people can join the health and safety strategy to Help Great Britain Work Well is being released on the HSE website over the coming weeks, with plans to include events and digital discussions.
Follow the campaign using #HelpGBWorkWell and have a say in the future of health and safety strategy in Great Britain.
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