2 March 2016

After extensive consultation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a new health and safety system strategy aimed at building "a 21st-century, world-class occupational health and safety system" that will help Great Britain work well.

Available here, the strategy document, which argues that this country's health and safety record is the envy of much of the world, is based on six new priority themes.

These are:

  • promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain

  • highlighting and tackling the costs of work-related ill health

  • simplifying risk management and helping business to grow

  • giving SMEs simple advice so they know what they have to do

  • anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges

  • promoting the benefits of Great Britain’s world-class health and safety system.

"Everyone in the system needs to play their part and make Great Britain work well," the HSE said. "We all have a responsibility."

The aim is to focus on the six priority themes over the next five years in order to make the greatest improvement and to facilitate proportionate, appropriate and effective risk management.

The strategy document emphasises that HSE will increasingly look to act as an enabler, supporting businesses, particularly SMEs, by providing simple, accessible and relevant advice and challenging "so-called experts who overprescribe and overinterpret requirements".

Stressing the need to highlight and tackle the costs of work-related ill health, the HSE notes that wider recognition is needed of the business benefits that come with proportionate approaches to risk.