New strategy for health in the workplace receives government backing

News Article

A new government-backed strategy has been announced which will attempt to help reduce the number of working days lost as a result of illness.

The Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt, MP has pledge her support for the new Health and Work Strategy, which is being launched at a time when stress and musculoskeletal disorders are responsible for 80 per cent of all work absence due to illness.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which helped launched the strategy, published figures which reveal that around 12,000 deaths each year occur as a result of occupational lung diseases, accounting for 90 per cent of estimated deaths linked to work exposure.

Statistics compiled by the HSE also found that 1.3 million workers lost nearly 26 million working days because of illness. The economic costs for new cases of work related illness are estimated to total £9billion per year.

It is also estimated that a quarter of all enforcement notices issued by the HSE relate to concerns around health in the workplace.

Following the launch of the new Health and Work Strategy, employers, professional bodies, health experts, politicians and members of the public are being encouraged to provide their views through digital webinars, email bulletins and social media, which will help drive improvements in health and safety at work and bring about positive change.

Lara Murray, an employment and health and safety legal expert with Palmers, said: “Despite the headline statistics, the UK is one of the safest places to work in Europe and has one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

“However, the number of people who miss work as a result of stress, or musculoskeletal disorders – with back injuries being the most common cause – remain the two biggest reasons for employee absence. Regular health and safety reviews will help employers ensure that their procedures are fully compliant and they are not placing their workers at risk either physically or mentally.”

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To join the engagement on the Health and Work strategy please click here.