Not enough being done to tackle work-related ill-health, say GB’s business leaders

Almost half of Britain’s industry leaders do not feel enough is being done across industry to tackle cases of work-related ill-health, according to new research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The research also found more than two-fifths of businesses are reporting a rise in cases of long-term ill-health with the majority (80%) stating tackling this growing problem is a priority within their organisation.

This news comes as HSE figures show that work-related ill-health is costing the economy more than £9bn with 26 million working days being lost, making it a priority for HSE, as the Government’s chief occupational health adviser. The views of 300 major business leaders were sought and 40% of respondents said their industry was not doing enough to raise awareness and tackle the causes of long-term work-related ill-health.

The findings were revealed as HSE announced its new national campaign – ‘Go Home Healthy’. The campaign aims to reduce cases of work-related ill-health by shining a light on the causes and encouraging employers to do the right thing to protect their workers’ health.

Speaking after the campaign launch, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt said:

“Everyone should want to have a healthy and safe environment at work. Work-related ill-health is a costly issue for individuals, businesses, and the whole economy. This campaign will encourage employers to operate healthier workplaces and ensure workers get the support that they need.”

Commenting on the findings, HSE’s chair Martin Temple, said:

“The survey findings confirmed what we already suspected – more needs to be done to tackle work-related ill-health. “Over the years, figures show that as workplace safety has improved, health has stagnated. The ‘Go Home Healthy’ campaign is about driving behavioural change in workplaces so we all can go home healthy. There is a moral, legal, and business case for employers to do the right thing by their workers. The importance of more joined-up thinking across industries when it comes to tackling work-related ill-health cannot be overstated.”