HSE’s New Strategy: Improvements to Health & Safety

13th February 2017 Posted in Blogs

Improvements to Health & Safety

• HSE has recently launched a new Health and Work Strategy for the next 5 years

• Intended to improve occupational health standards & reduce sickness absence in UK 

Key Proposals

Lead and engage with others to improve workplace health and safety

Provide an effective regulatory framework

Secure effective management and control of risk

Reduce the likelihood of low-frequency, high-impact catastrophic incident

The six strategic themes

Acting together: Promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain

Tackling ill health: Highlighting and tackling the costs of work-related ill health

Managing risk well: Simplifying risk management and helping business to grow

Supporting small employers: Giving SMEs simple advice so they know what they have to do

Keeping pace with change: Anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges

Sharing our success: Promoting the benefits of Great Britain’s world-class health and safety system

Strategy Regarding Ill Health

Of the strategy’s 6 key themes, one focuses on ill health, in particular three key areas:

1. work-related stress,

2. musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) &

3. lung disease.

Ill Health Statistics

THE HSE chair, Martin Temple has stated that stress and MSD’s account for 80% of working time lost to sickness in the UK, while lung disease is responsible for around 90% of work-related deaths.


The new initiative marks a renewed focus on work related stress and musculoskeletal issues for the executive, which largely withdrew in 2008 from involvement in health issues because it said that health was as easily influenced by employees’ home lives as by their working conditions. However, it appears that the new strategy suggests that the HSE have recently appreciated that they are also responsible for regulating the health of workers and therefore their strategy must refocus on a key component of their purpose, as their name suggests.

Industry Sectors

The HSE have split Great Britain’s workplaces into 19 sectors, based on industry type and risk profile.

For each sector they have a draft plan covering its health and safety performance.

Discussion in the Health and Safety Community

To help make further improvements, the HSE has recently started a discussion with the wider health and safety community, before publishing later in 2017.

Safety Smart’s Involvement
Safety Smart is a member of the Helping Great Britain work well LinkedIn discussion group and network which provides us with the opportunity to comment on the HSE’s strategies and plans, share ideas and tell them what our clients’ are doing to help improve Britain’s record on work-related health.

Safety Smart Comment:

• We welcome the HSE’s new strategy and focus on improving awareness of key health issues in the workplace in an effort to support employers to ensure that employees’ sickness related issues can be kept to a minimum.

• Our clients’ management of stress, MSD’s and lung disease is generally very good, as our clients are keen to ensure that they are accountable and responsible to their members of staff.

• Clients generally try to encourage self-reporting in an environment of awareness and in certain key industry sectors where health issues are more prevalent, clients provide regular monitoring.

• We welcome our clients’ views and experiences in these key outlined areas and will provide informed input to the LinkedIn discussion group to ensure that we engage with others stakeholders to assist with developing the regulators strategy and final guidance in relation to these important key developing issues.

• We will provide regular updates regarding the development of the HSE’s new health and work strategy and policy as it unfolds during 2017.

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