HR role wanted in better work health

Personnel professionals will be expected to play a full part in the delivery of improvements to health in the workplace, following the Government’s announcement of a joint strategy for occupational health.

A new body called the Partnership Board will oversee implementation of a strategy to try to cut work-related ill-health by 20 per cent within 10 years.

“Health and safety at work should be a core requirement of business activity, not an inconvenient add-on,” said Bill Callaghan, chairman of the Health & Safety Commission. “As far as I am concerned those who cannot manage health and safety, cannot manage.”

The move follows last month’s announcement that a named person will be responsible for health and safety in all companies. Directors could face jail for breaches (Personnel Today, 13 June).

Tony Welch, director of human resources at construction firm Galliford, said it is good practice to have an integrated approach. “We have an employee support programme which gives staff counselling, employment law advice and family support.”

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