We live and work in a rapidly evolving world, with new health and safety challenges facing people and businesses seemingly every day.

The reality is that no person or business is immune to such challenges, and with this comes the need to mitigate risk at every opportunity.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires a business to provide information, instruction, training, and supervision as is necessary to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of employees. Sadly, many businesses fail to do this adequately, and many more fail to evidence what they do. There is always space for improvement, particularly in terms of how organisations go about embedding the correct health and safety practices into their wider culture.

According to recent Health & Safety Executive (HSE) 2023 figures1:

  • 1.8 million working people are suffering from a work-related illness.
  • 875,000 workers are suffering work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.
  • 473,000 workers are suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder.
  • 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents.
  • 561,000 working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey.
  • 60,645 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR.
  • 35.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
  • £20.7 billion is the estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions.

How to Manage Workplace Health and Safety

Efficient enforcement of laws and regulations governing workplace protections must be accompanied by robust legal frameworks, ensuring their incorporation into a broader organisational ethos of safety. Fostering a proactive culture at work involves everyone's outlooks, beliefs, skills, and behaviours related to safety and well-being. This includes both physical safety and mental health.

Given the dynamic nature of workplace environments, organisations must continually assess health and safety risks. This involves conducting regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards and dangers, followed by the implementation of suitable control measures2.

Such an approach applies the continuous improvement methodology of the Plan, Do, Check and Act approach developed by the HSE3:


Reflect on your current situation and your desired outcomes. Clearly state your objectives, allocate responsibilities, detail strategies for achieving your aims, and establish metrics for measuring success. It may be necessary to document this policy and your implementation plan. Decide on methods for evaluating performance, including both leading and lagging indicators, beyond solely examining accident data. Collaborate with other occupants of your workplace to develop and coordinate emergency response plans. Furthermore, anticipate changes and ensure compliance with any specific legal requirements that apply to your organisation.


Identify your risk profile and assess potential hazards in the workplace, considering who may be affected and how. Prioritise the most significant risks and organise your activities accordingly to address them. Key steps include involving workers in discussions, ensuring clear communication, and fostering positive attitudes towards safety. Allocate adequate resources and seek competent advice when necessary. Implement preventive measures, provide necessary tools and equipment, and maintain them regularly. Offer thorough training and instruction to ensure competency among workers and supervise to ensure adherence to safety arrangements.


Monitor your activity by ensuring the implementation of your plan, as mere documentation is insufficient as a performance indicator. Assess the effectiveness of risk control measures and the attainment of your objectives. Consider conducting formal audits in certain situations to gauge performance accurately. Investigate the root causes of accidents, incidents, or near misses to identify areas for improvement and prevent future occurrences.


Evaluate your performance by analysing accidents, incidents, health data, errors, and relevant experiences, including those from other organisations. Revisit plans, policy documents, and risk assessments to determine if updates are necessary. Take proactive measures based on lessons learned, incorporating findings from audit and inspection reports to enhance performance and ensure continuous improvement.

By completing this review cycle, businesses can establish a culture of continuous improvement, upholding standards that promote a safe workplace environment and laying the foundation for a practical safety culture within the organisation. The benefits are numerous and include:

  • A happier, safer, and more engaged workforce
  • Reduction in compensation and insurance costs
  • Enhanced employee motivation to adhere to safety protocols
  • Decreased downtime due to safety incidents

How Gallagher Can Help

From simple phone-based advice to bespoke consultancy, packaged services, and training, we can provide health and safety risk management services that could make a real difference to your organisation. We do this in a way which links your legal obligations to your insurers’ expectations – affordably, accurately, and sustainably

To contact our friendly risk management team about any of the content in this article, or how we can help you with your health and safety requirements, please call 0800 138 7538.


1 Statistics - About HSE statistics, www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overview.htm , 2022-23.

2 Managing for health and safety (HSG65) (hse.gov.uk), www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/HSG65.htm , 2013.

3 Managing for health and safety (HSG65) (hse.gov.uk), www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/HSG65.htm , 2013.


The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/ or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.