text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
  1. Home
  2. Protec Direct PPE Blog
  3. Work-related suicides need investigating by HSE

In an opinion article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Professor Sarah Waters from the University of Leeds and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Professor Martin McKee argue that the Health and Safety Executive should investigate all work-related suicides.  

The article was prompted by the suicide of headmistress Ruth Perry, who took her own life after her school received a poor Ofsted inspection report. The HSE regularly investigates accidents at work, but unlike in France, where all suicides are probed if there is a connection to work, work-related suicides are not currently investigated in the UK. 
The authors of the BMJ article argue that Ofsted should have a duty of care for the welfare of school staff. In response, Ofsted responded:
“We inspect first and foremost in the interests of children, but we aim for all our inspections to be carried out professionally and sensitively, with careful regard to their impact on school staff."
Ofsted inspectors are former schoolteachers who are aware of how their reports affect school staff. 
The General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Paul Whiteman, commented that other head teachers have been in a dark place after negative Ofsted school assessments.
While existing regulations do not require work-related suicides to be investigated, coroners can refer cases to the HSE. The article serves as a reminder that health and safety in the workplace goes beyond wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) and that employers must also promote staff mental well-being.


Latest Blogs

An updated guide by consumer organization Which? looks at how to protect people’s ears. They focus on two main types of ear protection, earplugs and ear defenders.  

27 June 2023

A review submitted by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has recommended that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should compel employers to improve their behaviour in issues of workplace health and safety.  

21 June 2023

Drivers are being urged to consider their footwear choices when behind the wheel, particularly during hot summer days when flip-flops are popular.  

21 June 2023

The Universal Workwear Market Report forecasts that worldwide sales of workwear will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% during the next five years.  

19 June 2023