The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently launched a new health and safety system strategy.

Named Help Great Britain Work Well, the campaign has six priority themes, one of which is centred on tackling workplace ill health.

In the campaign’s foreword, Justin Tomlinson MP, previously Minister for Disabled People, stated that 23 million working days are lost on an annual basis as a result of workplace ill health. The cost of this to employers, individuals and the state, he said, amounts to in the region of £9 billion.

Tackling ill health will seek to bolster awareness of the costs, harm and preventability of work related ill health. The HSE is set to bring in partners such as the NHS to provide assistance with the campaign, and will be staging a series of awareness programmes.

Earlier Prevention is Key

The HSE has said that earlier prevention will be a key element of this theme, because “it is more effective than trying to intervene when a person is suffering from more serious ill health”.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a significant contributor to workplace ill health, accounting for an estimated 9.5 million lost working days with an average of 17 days lost for each case. This represents 40 per cent of all days lost to work related ill health for the period 2014-2015.

At Alistair Bromhead Ltd we are keen to support the HSE campaign. It suggests that addressing manual handling issues – a major cause of MSDs – will continue to be a focus and it will reiterate the need for effective management.

Training to Challenge Workplace Ill Health

Training will of course play a key role in tackling workplace ill health, in particular MSDs. The HSE states that medical and scientific knowledge stresses the importance of looking at manual handling holistically; in other words, looking at the nature of the task, the load and the working environment.

Our manual handler training courses are fully adaptable to suit the individual requirements of particular industries, which do of course vary. The course content does, as research suggests, look at manual handling as a whole, which is precisely why we are intent on making each learning session fully bespoke. We look at precisely what is being handled and why and consider the unique surroundings before providing practical handling exercises aimed at teaching good handling technique for both individuals and teams, and with or without manual handling aids as appropriate.

The courses also run participants through the injuries associated with manual handling and provide a simple overview of the lumbar spine so as to emphasise the personal implications of good and bad handling technique.

The HSE is, with its new campaign, attempting to educate Britain’s workforce so as to reduce the number of days lost to workplace ill health each year, which is clearly costing our economy dear. We for one are right behind the campaign.

To learn more about our tailored manual handler training courses, please get in touch.