Britain Unveils New Health and Work Strategy

Last year, work-related illness affected around 1.3 million workers and nearly 26 million working days were lost because of it, costing more than £9 billion, or about $11 billion in U.S. dollars, annually for new cases alone.

Britain has taken the wraps off its new Health and Work strategy, with Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt helping to announce it Dec. 15 and pledging her support for a new path on health in British workplaces. The Heath and Safety Executive said the launch comes at a time when stress and musculoskeletal disorders account for around 80 percent of all lost time illness cases and when 12,000 deaths occur each year from occupational lung diseases, accounting for 90 percent of estimated deaths related to past exposures at work.

Last year, work-related illness affected around 1.3 million workers and nearly 26 million working days were lost because of it, costing more than £9 billion, or about $11 billion in U.S. dollars, annually for new cases alone. Roughly 25 percent of all HSE enforcement notices now are about workplace health issues rather than safety issues.

The agency is urging stakeholders representing employers, employees, professional/expert bodies, and colleagues in government to engage on the strategy via webinars, email bulletins, and social media, with HSE Chair Martin Temple and Clive Johnson, chair of Health in Construction Leadership Group and the Safety, Health and Environment Director at Land Securities, participating in the Dec. 15 announcement.

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