Safer, healthier, happier Protecting workers to rebuild our economy

Strengthen OSH systems

With changes to the world of work continuing apace, the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession is adapting to be able to respond and ensure it stays at the forefront of preventing harm.

Fundamental shifts are challenging traditional definitions of this profession. To ensure it can continue to support all businesses in preventing occupational fatalities, injuries, ill health and diseases, the Government must invest in national OSH capacity. It must also strengthen pathways to good mental health and psychosocial risk management in business, OSH systems and occupational health services. 

It’s vital, too, to ensure better funding of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other regulating bodies such as local authorities. While the UK has a strong record on safety and health compared to many other countries, we recognise that HSE funding has reduced from £228 million in 2010 to £185 million in 2022.

While the 2022 figure marked an increase from the low point in 2019 (£126 million), it is still an overall reduction over time, which weakens the HSE’s ability to function effectively. This can be seen in a reduction in the number of proactive inspections and an increase in mandatory investigations being cancelled. 

Our calls to action
Back the Health and Safety Executive to do its role, and help businesses prevent harm through increased staffing and funding that enables better guidance, more inspections and effective enforcement across its wider regulatory remit. 
Invest in strong occupational health systems. Equip small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the resources they need to invest in prevention and early intervention around occupational health, including mental health.