The United Kingdom adopted a safety in the workplace strategy for the period up to 2010 and prolonged the program with a range of adjustments. The strategy is based on the fact that the safety and health of workers is a cornerstone of a civilized society. In aspiration to reduce the level of deaths and serious injuries on the production by 10%, the level of occupational diseases by 20%; loss of working time due to illness by 30%, a new strategy has been introduced and implemented almost absolutely successfully. Within the framework of the new strategy, the government ensures advanced accessibility to submitting accidental claims, as well as dozens of other personal injury cases, e.g. whiplash claims. The scope of the available no win no fee options is truly impressive – drop in at Solicitors Guru for a comprehensive list of legal services providing no win no fee assistance.
The strategy is based on the understanding that, since the adoption of the law on the protection of workers’ health and safety in 1974 the world has changed dramatically, so the necessity to modernise the system of risk management emerged naturally. The UK houses a good range of large firms (less than half the country’s workforce is employed in large organizations), and a significantly increased number of small businesses: more than 90% of the 3.5 million enterprises have less than 10 people employed; moreover, the country faced an increase in the number of workers employed in part-time work, while women now make up half of the workforce.
Service industries have become more significant, while industrial sector, affected by strong international competition, reduces the scope of its presence in the country. The British government placed an ambitious strategic task to develop new ways of building a culture of safe and healthy working in a changing economy. The strategy aims at achieving a high level of understanding that the health of workers and job security is a systematic element of a modern competitive business.
Particular attention is paid to the budget sector, which, according to the strategy and statistics is a model of safe and healthy working for the private sector. The strategy execution is entrusted to the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health under the UK Ministry of Work and Pensions. Close attention is paid to the development of strategy of social dialogue, social partnership (with the trade unions, business associations, NGOs), as well as the establishment of close cooperation and partnerships.
The UK government sticks to four core strategic directions:
- The development of strong partnerships.
- Assisting people with taking advantage of the efficient management of health and safety, development of safety culture and the responsibility for their health.
- Focusing on the main work of the Commission for the protection, safety and necessary interventions aimed at reducing the number of accidents and injuries.
- Distribution of strategic vision (establishing reliable two-way communications with key stakeholders).
Another major focus is put on small businesses; the purpose is to help introducing simplified forms and methods of risk assessment, providing information and regulatory guidance material to facilitate the perception and assimilation of the safety rules and the main responsibilities of the employer and employee risk management as defined by the law on the protection of workers’ health.