28 November 2019 | Marino Donati
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging the newly elected UK government to prioritise workplace health and safety.
The global chartered body for safety and health professionals wants any government elected after the December 12 general election to publicly support what it says is the compelling economic case and social value of the UK's health and safety system and regulatory regime.
IOSH wants the next administration to:
- Reskill the UK for a safer, healthier, sustainable future;
- Radically improve the nation's occupational health system;
- Design good work into all public investment and infrastructure programmes;
- Tackle exploitation of vulnerable workers and poor working conditions; and
- Urgently implement national building and fire safety reforms.
Richard Jones, head of policy and regulatory engagement at IOSH, said that an ageing workforce, technological changes, more insecure and 'gig' working, as well as higher numbers of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and self-employed workers means tht there is a need for better workplace health management.
"As the UK heads for a new government, it's vital that public policy focus on health at work is properly prioritised," said Jones. "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."