Key points

  • Great Britain has a health and safety record to be proud of
  • Six new priority themes will help Great Britain to work well
  • Everyone in the health and safety system should play their part

Great Britain’s health and safety record is the envy of much of the world. Central to this is protecting people by managing risk in a proportionate and effective way, supporting innovation and increasing productivity. The challenge is to improve even further on this impressive record. HSE is seeking to influence the system through the Helping Great Britain work well strategy.

While HSE’s position as a regulator ensures it will remain the key player, there is a role to play for everyone who has a stake or interest in improving health and safety in the workplace. This is what is called ‘the system’, not an abstract concept, but networks of organisations and individuals, including, among others, employers, employees, industry and trade bodies, supply chains, third-sector bodies, insurance and legal bodies, workers’ representatives, professional institutions and government, as well as co-regulators and many others. Put another way, this means all those who undertake, or influence, workplace activities and attitudes.

The Helping Great Britain work well strategy sets out the priority themes for us to focus on over the next five years. It is important to acknowledge at the start that this will not be at the expense of what is already done well, but the areas identified here are those on which all will need to focus their efforts collectively to make the greatest improvement.

HSE will continue to be a prime mover, whether through ongoing regulatory reform, working in partnership with stakeholders, carrying out inspections, assessing safety cases and reports, or where necessary taking enforcement action.

HSE will look to act increasingly as an enabler, supporting businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing simple, accessible and relevant advice and challenging so-called ‘experts’ who overprescribe and overinterpret requirements. This should facilitate proportionate, appropriate and effective risk management, encouraging all those in the system to take much greater ownership of health and safety and ultimately help Great Britain work well.

To provide a focus for this important work, HSE has set out six strategic themes that will bring a renewed emphasis on improving health in the workplace, as well as building on the highly successful track record on safety.

The six strategic themes

Acting together: Promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain

Tackling ill health: Highlighting and tackling the costs of work-related ill health

Managing risk well: Simplifying risk management and helping business to grow

Supporting small employers: Giving SMEs simple advice so they know what they have to do

Keeping pace with change: Anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges

Sharing our success: Promoting the benefits of Great Britain’s world-class health and safety system

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