Government urged to increase investment in OSH
The Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) has asked the government to spend more on occupational safety and health (OSH).
IOSH, which offers health and safety advice to the private and public sectors, wants the government to promote long-term OSH skills. One way that this can be done is by ensuring OSH principles are part of the initial contract and design stages whenever the government invests in new infrastructure projects and negotiates trade deals.
In addition, IOSH wants more resources given to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who enforce health and safety regulations and provide information and guidance. The Head of IOSH Policy and Regulation, Richard Jones, said:
“To help address the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond, we call on the Government and HM Treasury to support the urgent action we have proposed to protect lives and livelihoods and improve workforce health and prosperity.”
IOSH is concerned about the high level of workplace deaths and accidents. In the year 2018/19, there were four million cases of work-related ill-health, which cost a total of around £22 billion.
On top of this is the impact of COVID-19. Despite using PPE, such as face masks, the virus has spread through some workplaces. Another factor that needs addressing is the fact that only 39% of private sector workers have access to occupational health services.
As well as encouraging businesses to increase health and safety training, IOSH believes that financial incentives should be given to small to medium-sized companies that increase occupational health practices in their workplaces.