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Our policy positions set out what we believe and capture the organisation’s view on key topical issues. These positions are developed in collaboration with members and others to ensure that they remain current, evidence-based and evolve as each issue moves forward and develops.

Some of our key positions are on the importance of managing health risks, including mental health; asking for greater clarity on the consequences of exiting the European Union and the important role of leadership, worker involvement and competence for good health and safety.  

Live issues

Topics and issues on which we are currently actively engaged.

Young workers

British Safety Council has a long standing strategic objective to promote and protect the health and safety of young workers. Our campaign, Speak Up, Stay Safe, is one of the key measures we have put in place to help develop a greater awareness among young people of the risks that they face at work and their role in helping identify and manage those risks.

For more information, please contact [email protected]


Research has shown that competence is comprised of both knowledge, acquired through training, and skills, developed through experience and practice. British Safety Council believes that it is important that everyone in the workplace has the opportunity to develop competence in health and safety that is relevant and proportionate to their role. Everyone has a different learning style, so there is a place for both formal structured learning and for skills based learning. The key is to ensure that the required level of competence is determined for each role and that each person has a personal development plan which sets out the most suitable route to competence for them.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Occupational road risk

Research shows that an increasing number of people now drive in connection with work. Road use is growing in the UK and the number of road accidents is also increasing. Many employers now rate driving as one of the most significant risks to their workforce, but it’s a complicated one to control as so many factors are outside their influence. Grey fleet (employees using their own cars for work driving) is a particular concern. British Safety Council recognises that management of occupational road risk is a significant issue and is committed to supporting members and clients in developing effective and proportionate risk control strategies.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

What is safety?

British Safety Council believes that no-one should be injured or made ill at work and that good health and safety management supports efficient business operation. Effective management of health and safety isn’t about stopping work or getting in the way of business objectives. It’s about conducting necessary work activities as safely and efficiently as possible.

It’s not possible to be 100% safe all the time. Getting health and safety right is about finding a balance between necessary and desirable activities and the risk of incident or injury, a point that facilitates and supports business whilst still sending everyone home safe and well.

Safety is not the number one priority in businesses. If they did health and safety and nothing else, then the business would fail. Health and safety should however be embedded in everything to support and enable business objectives. It’s not the ‘what’ but it is the ‘how’

British Safety Council is committed to supporting our members and clients as they work to embed this principle in the culture of their organisations.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Health and wellbeing

UK health and safety performance is respected internationally, but there is still plenty of room to improve.  As the number of significant accidents has reduced we have become increasingly aware of the significance of health issues. These follow a different pattern, developing slowly over a number of years, and are often multifaceted – not necessarily solely attributable to work, but they still require the same robust approach to hazard identification, risk assessment and proportionate management. 

British Safety Council is committed to supporting the development of a positive health and wellbeing culture in businesses.

For more information, please contact [email protected]


British Safety Council recognises that presenteeism (the act of attending work whilst unwell) is an increasing concern to UK businesses. We believe that establishing a positive health and wellbeing culture can significantly improve morale and productivity and we are committed to developing advice, tools and services to support our members and clients in this area.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Ageing workforce

Research shows that the UK population is ageing, and that pensions are now insufficient to support many people from traditional retirement age to the end of their lives. Consequently, people are working beyond traditional retirement age and this poses some challenges for employers in terms of manging risk associated with reduced physical capacity and age related health conditions. There are opportunities too though in the shape of skills transfer and development of young people.

This is a complex and evolving issue, and British Safety Council is committed to supporting research and learning in order to assist members and clients in establishing effective risk management regimes.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Mental health

There is a growing realisation that mental health is a significant issue in UK society. It is a complex matter with much research ongoing, but what is clear is that the workplace has a key role to play, not just as part of the problem, but also as a source of solutions and support.

We are committed to supporting the development of learning, information, tools and processes which will assist employers in engaging with this important issue.

British Safety Council is actively involved in setting the agenda on this issue though our Mates in Mind initiative. The initial focus is on the construction sector, but there is also an aspiration for knowledge transfer to other sectors as well.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

HSE enforcement

Overwhelming support for HSE – seen as an effective regulator and successful in carrying out its statutory duties.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

HSE cost recovery – Fee for Intervention (FFI)

Support the principle of those organisations in breach of the law should bear the cost of enforcement. However, we have concerns about the impact of FFI on the duty holder/regulator relationship.

For more information, please contact [email protected]