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Minister sets out priorities for health
Date of Issue: Wednesday, 1 February, 2017
The Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt MP, recently launched a new strategy for health in Britain’s workplaces, alongside HSE Chair Martin Temple, HSE Chief Executive Richard Judge, and IIRSM Council Member Clive Johnson, Chair of Health in Construction Leadership Group and the Safety, Health and Environment Director at Land Securities.
Held at the Nova Victoria construction site in London, the Heath and Work strategy engagement event allowed a small selected audience to hear the key highlights of the initiative, which supports the existing Helping Great Britain Work Well umbrella strategy launched last year.
Health and Work is focused on reducing work-related stress, lung diseases and musculoskeletal disorders, in response to statistics that suggest stress and musculoskeletal disorders account for around 80% of all working time lost due to illness, with around 12,000 deaths each year from occupational lung diseases, accounting for 90% of estimated deaths related to past exposures at work.
With an increasing emphasis on health issues in recent years, it is estimated that a quarter of all HSE enforcement notices issued to dutyholders concern issues around health in the workplace.
In 2015, work-related illness affected around 1.3 million workers and nearly 26 million working days were lost because of it. The economic costs are stark – totalling over £9 billion per year for new cases alone – not including ongoing costs from working conditions of the past.
Underpinned by 19 sector plans, the Health and Work strategy is based on industry type and risk profile. For each sector there is a draft plan covering its health and safety performance, the top three strategic priorities for the next three to five years, and actions the HSE proposes to take.
An online page has been developed, allowing stakeholders and the public to view and download the strategy, and to post views and comments as part of the engagement process (see www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/strategiesandplans/health-and-work-strategy/index...).
IIRSM supports this initiative and looks forward to working with the government and key figures in the industry to drive the strategy forward among our members and partnering organisations.