The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is calling on the Government to reduce car use by expanding and electrifying public transport in addition to measures to promote active transport – walking or cycling. This will also cut air pollution and help the UK meet its net zero targets.
This is one of many recommendations published today in a new report on injury prevention, ‘Better than Cure’, highlighting the urgent need for coordinated action across sectors and levels of government.
It argues that, in a post-pandemic society, government should introduce a national injury prevention strategy to address the disconnect between the importance of injury prevention and its neglect in terms of funding, coordination, enforcement and strategy.
The report also makes specific recommendations in the fields of workplace, medical and road injuries, including: an expansion of statutory sick pay, support for small businesses to become Covid secure, long-term safe staffing levels in health and care, and reduced car use by promoting active transport and expanding public transport.
Lesley Rankin, IPPR Researcher and lead author of the report, said:
“Preventing workplace injuries and illnesses is a matter of fairness. It is not right that people who earn less or are from disadvantaged communities are disproportionately hurt or made unwell at work.
“Injuries are a massive cost and burden to people, business and society. But injuries are not inevitable, and prevention is better than cure. Injuries can be prevented with the right safety measures and public information.
“A national strategy covering everywhere people work and live is needed, to coordinate efforts to reduce injury and illness and address the unequal impact on lower earners.”
Henry Parkes, IPPR Senior Economist, said:
“You often hear people say ‘health and safety gone mad’ – but what we’ve seen over the last 10 years is health and safety gone bad. Cuts to the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities will hamper our ability to carry out vital workplace inspections.”
“The HSE is at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to make workplaces Covid secure as the lockdown eases, but it is now operating with far fewer staff than it had in 2008. This crisis has shown us just how important having strong health and safety enforcement and promotion is for our protection and wellbeing in the workplace.”
For more information visit the IPPR website: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/better-than-cure-injury-prevention-policy.
The IPPR paper, Better than Cure: Injury prevention policy by Lesley Rankin and Henry Parkes, was published on Thursday 13 August. It is available for download at: Better than Cure