An Early Day Motion (EDM) backing the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) manifesto has been tabled by an MP.

Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, tabled the motion in support of IOSH’s ‘Creating a healthier UK plc’ and 25 MPs have been keen to sign up already.

The EDM (602) says: “That this House welcomes the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s new manifesto, titled Creating a Healthier UK plc, promoting a sensible and forward-thinking approach to improving the nation’s health and wellbeing; and calls on the Government and all political parties to co-operate with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and others to effect appropriate changes and to help the UK create a risk-intelligent society.”

Commenting, Bob Russell MP said:

“The IOSH manifesto aims to bring about a well-thought out approach to improving the nation’s health and wellbeing, and I don’t think anyone can deny that’s an area which does need improving. Businesses in the UK, in partnership with government and others, have a critical role to play in helping improve the health of the nation.

“But I also find the IOSH vision of creating a ‘risk-intelligent society’ to be particularly praiseworthy. There’s too much alleged ‘health and safety madness’ in our society – raising people’s knowledge of risk, and helping them to better manage it, will, I hope, help people get on with what they want to do in a safe way.”

The manifesto calls for action in four areas – health, education, small businesses and good advice – which IOSH believes are vital to improving people’s health and safety, quality of life and future performance. It sets out what IOSH is already doing, and challenges others to help make the vision a reality.

Among the areas IOSH has asked MPs to commit to are:

• Promoting and continuing to fund the IOSH/DWP course on occupational health support and rehabilitation
• Giving tax relief to employers providing certain therapies for injuries and illnesses that happen outside work
• Providing England and Northern Ireland with equivalents of Healthy Working Lives Scotland and Workboost Wales
• Promoting our Workplace Hazard Awareness Course (WHAC) to schools and colleges
• Getting the Health and Safety (Education and Training) Bill on the statute book
• Providing more resources to HSE for advisory visits
• Backing the introduction of government-recognised accreditation

Richard Jones, IOSH’s policy and technical director, said:

“I’m pleased that MPs support IOSH’s vision to help create a healthier UK and I hope that, in time, we can turn many of the challenges into positive action. It’s certainly something we need to do if we’re to reduce the estimated 1.2 million workers who had ill health they put down to work last year.

“Our manifesto sets out a sensible, achievable plan of action to help create not only a healthier UK, but also a more risk intelligent UK. I hope more MPs will give it their backing in the near future.”