Following a two month nationwide engagement programme utilising social media,#HelpGBWorkWell, HSE has now published its new health and safety system strategy. The strategy acknowledges that when employees are harmed at work it causes disruption, damages reputation for companies and adversely impacts upon the competitiveness of Britain. Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for disabled people states: "Some 23 million working days are lost each year because of [workplace ill health]."

The aim of the new strategy is to maintain Great Britain's health and safety record, encourage ownership of health and safety and reduce complexity and bureaucracy. HSE states that the strategy is not about doing more but working smarter thereby enabling businesses to be successful and productive.

The Strategy focuses on six new priority 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 heling 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 success: Promoting the benefits of Great Britain's world-class health and safety system.

Impact on enforcement

The strategy sets out that that HSE should continue to promote the risk-based, goal-setting regulatory regime, work with partners in the system to make workplaces safer and healthier, providing a level playing field for responsible employers with regulators and co-regulators, by advising, promoting, and where necessary, enforcing good standards of risk control and use proportionate, risk-based regulation to support better outcomes, innovation and the safe use of new technologies.

Whilst this give an indication of what themes the HSE will be focusing on how this new strategy will effect enforcement, particularly what is classified as reasonable practicable is yet to be seen. However, the strategy is something organisations should be aware of in order to develop and maintain high health and safety standards.

You can follow the conversation on social media #HelpGBWorkWell

More information can be found on the HSE website.