Mental health top priority for new health and safety alliance
Nine UK health and safety organisations have come together to form the Occupational Safety and Health Stakeholder Alliance, which aims to support good practice and encourage progress on health and safety issues.
Mental health will be an immediate area of focus for the alliance, which claims the UK is “less well advanced” than many EU nations in preventing and supporting employees with mental health issues.
“The consequences of this go far beyond the direct impact on individuals and their employers, including an already-stretched NHS,” the organisation said.
“An early priority for the alliance will be to prioritise, identify, develop and implement measures to equip the [occupational safety and health] profession to more effectively mitigate the risk factors giving rise to mental health issues in the workplace.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Stakeholder Alliance (OSHSA) said it expects to provide a unified voice for the industry, and inform and support the creation of government and business health and safety policies.
It also aims to increase the visibility of the health and safety profession and the role it plays in achieving business objectives.
In May, seven organisations – the British Occupational Hygiene Society, British Safety Council, British Safety Industry Federation, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – signed a memorandum of understanding to create OSHSA .
Two further organisations – the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors – have joined more recently.
Although Britain’s health and safety record has improved overall, there was a 10% increase in work-related deaths in the year to March 2023. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the industries with the highest deaths were construction; agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; and transportation and storage.
Source: PERSONNEL TODAY
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