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Good health and safety doesn’t just happen, it’s a journey of teaching and learning that should continue throughout our working lives; contributing to healthier, safer, and happier workplaces.   

From entry-level health and safety courses that provide practical foundations, to sector and role-specific training, health and safety offers something for everyone, regardless of role or seniority. These skills help to establish a safety culture, make employees more risk-aware, and raise standards through individual and collective responsibility.   

For employers and employees, this makes for healthier and safer workplaces, with fewer fatalities and non-fatal injuries, continuing a trend that began with the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974.   

In the last Parliament, much was made about incentivising skills through retraining and upskilling, helping to combat rising economic inactivity and stagnant growth. It was rumoured that a Higher Education Bill would do just that, seeking to both incentivise and reward employers for training, re-training, or upskilling their workers. We were disappointed with rumours that the Bill would exclude statutory duties (such as those under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Bribery Act). In the end, the Bill didn’t materialise and upskilling and training fell, somewhat, by the wayside.    

Incentivising employers to train and upskill, through health and safety, is a no-brainer. It leaves employees with transferable skills and improves workplace safety standards; it’s a win-win.    

Excluding health and safety sends a message to the world that the UK has put worker safety on the back burner, risking an increase in the number of worker injuries and workplace deaths – at home and around the world. It also risks undoing much of the progress made since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act.   

That’s why, as part of our ‘Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Manifesto’, published ahead of the General Election, British Safety Council called for a health and safety inclusive Skills Tax Credit, that looks to incentivise employers who put health and safety first. This would reward those who already do this and encourage those who don’t.   

On 31 July, we mark the 50th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The half-century between the passage of the Act and today has been defined by progress, with workplace deaths and non-fatal injuries at their lowest levels in known history.   

When a new Parliament is sworn in, following July’s General Election, it offers a fresh opportunity for policymakers to share in that same legislative spirit that saw the Health and Safety at Work Act become law; honouring a generation that made worker health and safety a priority. It provides lawmakers with the opportunity to boost skills, increase productivity, and make our workplaces healthier, safer, and happier. What we ask of them is to help employers to provide the skills to support safety by including health and safety training within any Skills Tax Credit.