The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published the six key themes that its five-year health and safety strategy will cover, as it begins to seek opinions from key stakeholders on how the UK’s health and safety system should be shaped.

While Britain’s health and safety record has improved greatly since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, there are still currently 1.2 million people suffering fromwork-related illnesses, 600,000 people suffered a work-related injury in 2015 and 142 died at work during 2014 -15.

The six key themes that the HSE will be speaking to stakeholders, including employers, workers, unions and other industry groups, about are:

  • Promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain
  • Highlighting and tacking the costs of work-related ill health
  • Simplifying risk management and helping business to grow
  • Giving SMEs simple advice so they know what their health and safety obligations are
  • Anticipating and tacking new health and safety challenges
  • Promoting the benefits of the UK’s world-class health and safety system

Gerard Stilliard, head of the personal injury team at Thompsons Solicitors, which has dedicated accident at work teams, said: “While the UK’s health and safety record has improved, there is clearly a great deal more to be done to reduce the number of workplace accidents, illnesses and deaths. There are still too many unscrupulous employers who fail to protect their employees adequately.

“It is positive that the HSE is seeking opinions from a range of organisations to help shape its health and safety strategy for the next five years. However, this whole project will be a waste of time if the HSE is not provided with sufficient resources by government properly to investigate employers whose failure to implement sensible health and safety strategies leaves their employees at risk. The HSE must also be given sufficient powers and resources to pursue and punish rogue employers – anything less would be an insult and a discouragement to those employers who ‘do the right thing’.”