The British Safety Council has pledged its support for the government-backed Public Health Responsibility Deal.
The aim of this initiative is to tap into the potential for businesses and other influential organisations to make a significant contribution to improving public health by helping to create an environment which fosters healthy lifestyles.
The British Safety Council has signed up to five core pledges that have the goal of promoting healthier and active lifestyles. In announcing his organisation’s support for the Responsibility Deal Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council, welcomed this initiative as an opportunity to raise the profile of occupational health and to speak about the benefits of promoting healthier behaviours and lifestyles at work.
“An area of our working lives that is often not given the attention it deserves is the ‘h’ in health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive, in its latest statistical report, estimates that workplace illness conservatively costs Great Britain an estimated £8.2bn per annum. This is one and a half times more than the costs of workplace injuries.
“The British Safety Council is actively engaging with our corporate members on the important issues of health and healthier lifestyles. We have seen how a greater focus on issues that impact on workplace health and wellbeing, including diet, exercise and smoking, has resulted in real benefits to many of our members and stakeholders. We saw, for example, that the construction projects that delivered the venues for London 2012 demonstrated the positive impact of robust occupational health management for the 25,000 construction workers during the Olympic ‘big build’.
“It is not just about encouraging our members to get involved with this initiative – we too are putting in place a number of actions to help deliver against specific pledges. For example, we have revised our catering so that it offers healthier eating options to our staff as well as delegates and visitors to our offices. This is in addition to encouraging more exercise and active lifestyles amongst our staff.
“I look forward to reporting on our progress. Equally I look forward to encouraging our members to sign up to this worthwhile scheme and for us to play our part in encouraging businesses to take more responsibility for the health of their workers.”
The Public Health Responsibility Deal
Signatories to the Public Health Responsibility Deal will work in support of the following core commitments in relation to their customers and staff, where relevant.
- We recognise that we have a vital role to play in improving people’s health
- We will encourage and enable people to adopt a healthier diet
- We will foster a culture of responsible drinking, which will help people to drink within guidelines
- We will encourage and assist people to become more physically active
- We will actively support our workforce to lead healthier lives
More information about the deal, including the pledges employers are encouraged to make and the actions to adopt, can be found at https://responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/about/