The global Chartered body for safety and health professionals is urging the UK Government to provide assurance and certainty on the future of the UK’s health and safety system, as the December 12 general election looms.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has urged any newly elected administration to prioritise workplace health and safety and publicly support the compelling economic case and social value of the UK’s ‘world-leading health and safety system and regulatory regime.’
Specifically, IOSH wants a newly elected UK administration to commit to:
- Reskilling the UK for a safer, healthier, sustainable future,
- Radically improving the nation’s occupational health system,
- Designing good work into all public investment and infrastructure programmes,
- Tackling the exploitation of vulnerable workers and poor working conditions,
- And urgently implementing national building and fire safety reforms.
IOSH Head of Policy and Regulatory Engagement, Richard Jones, said the employment landscape was fast evolving and that good health and safety management was becoming increasingly important.
“With an ageing workforce, technological changes, more insecure and ‘gig’ working, higher numbers of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and self-employed – as well as increased overall employment figures – the need for better workplace health management in the UK is fast-reaching a crescendo.”
“As the UK heads for a new government, it’s vital that public policy focus on health at work is properly prioritised. We need to tackle the record numbers of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety (last year reaching 602,000 cases) and the 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems losing their jobs each year.
“Good health and safety is good for business and effective regulation helps ensure many millions of lives and livelihoods are protected each and every day.”
Recently released Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures put annual Great Britain failure in safety and health costs at around £15 billion, plus an additional £12 billion for new cases of occupational cancer.