HSE’s new focus: Tackling workplace health issues

In light of World Safety and Health at Work Day 2024, we’re taking a deep dive look at the current state of affairs in the world of workplace Health & Safety in the UK.

In 2022, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) set a clear goal to improve workplace health across the UK. Their current focus revolves around preventing and reducing work-related illness and injuries – because, although the loss of any worker is heartbreaking, many more suffer from long-term health issues caused by their jobs.

To put it in perspective, while 135 workers tragically lost their lives at work from 2022 to 2023, a staggering 1.8 million were dealing with health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression due to work— that’s as many people as the entire population of both Bristol and Nottingham combined.


The cost of workplace illness

Workplace illnesses are a big deal for everyone—not just the workers but also the economy. Between 2021 and 2022, work-related health problems cost the UK economy about £13.1 billion a year. And that’s not even counting the really long-term illnesses like cancers, which could make the real cost even higher.


Key health campaigns by the HSE

HSE has kicked off several campaigns focusing on major health concerns at work:

  • Managing cutting fluids
    Companies need to be careful with cutting fluids and mists that can make workers sick. The HSE is pushing for better controls to prevent diseases like skin conditions and serious lung issues. Regular health checks are also part of the plan.
  • Asbestos in buildings
    Even though asbestos use was banned in 1999, it’s still in many older buildings. The HSE is making sure that schools and other places check for asbestos and have a good plan to manage it, focusing on those in charge of buildings and workers like tradespeople.
  • Dust at construction sites
    The HSE is also cracking down on dust from materials like silica and wood at construction sites. They want to make sure employers are keeping their workers safe from these harmful dusts with strict safety measures and health checks.
  • Mental health and stress
    The HSE has updated their rules to make sure employers think about mental health when planning first aid. They’re also making sure employers look out for signs of stress in their teams and handle it properly, following specific guidelines to keep everyone supported and clear on their roles.


Upcoming initiatives

Looking ahead, the HSE is planning to improve conditions on construction sites and help workers dealing with urinary issues.

Research shows that quite a few men deal with these problems as they get older. According to Prostate Cancer UK, annually, 1 in 25 men over 40 experience some form of UI, with 1 in 20 men over 60 facing bowel incontinence.

The HSE’s efforts are all about making sure workplaces have good hygiene facilities, like clean toilets with sanitary bins for disposing of products safely.



The HSE isn’t just about checking up on safety anymore. They’re really focusing on keeping workers healthy, which is just as important. By tackling these health issues head-on, they’re aiming to make sure workplaces are safer and healthier for everyone.

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