Better health is happening – ORR assessment of progress on occupational health up to 2014, and priorities to 2019

When we launched our first health programme for 2010-14, we committed to review rail industry progress in the management of work-related ill health by 2014. Our latest report 'Better health is happening' pdf icon PDF, 2,028 Kb provides a revised snapshot on progress by the end of our first four year health programme, and identifies priorities for action under our 2014-19 health programme pdf icon PDF, 1,751 Kb. To help assess the impact of our health programme, we report trends in our baseline health indicator measures pdf icon PDF, 87 Kb, including industry responses to our repeat health data survey in 2014 pdf icon PDF, 134 Kb . You can find a guide to the structure of the report and links to each chapter below.

This latest report highlights areas where good progress pdf icon PDF, 146 Kb has been made in the management of occupational health, and shines a spotlight on areas where there is still more to do, particularly to translate commitments to improve worker health into reality on the ground. Headline findings are summarised on our infographic pdf icon PDF, 85 Kb. We have also produced a short introductory video and a presentation pdf icon PDF, 625 Kb.

The latest estimates in our report on the extent pdf icon PDF, 265 Kb and costs pdf icon PDF, 69 Kb of work-related ill health reinforce the case for the industry to do more. Evidence on worker ill health in the rail industry suggests a need for action on key occupational health risks, including hand arm vibration syndrome, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory diseases, and mental health, as well as occupational carcinogens such as asbestos, respirable crystalline silica, and diesel engine exhausts fumes. As well as the impact on affected individuals, the financial costs to rail employers from worker ill health cannot be ignored and provide a real opportunity for the industry to invest in order to save.

In this report we challenge the rail industry to build on the recent good progress by maintaining a constant focus on managing 'health like safety', and sustaining efforts towards delivery of the Industry Roadmap. We want rail companies to review their health risk management system against the priorities pdf icon PDF, 60 Kb set out in this report, and take action where there are gaps, for example on manager competence on health; better health monitoring and assurance, driven by meaningful data; use of RM3 for occupational health; and public commitment to and reporting on ill-health reduction. ORR will use the key findings from this 2014 update to inform delivery of work under our second health programme pdf icon PDF, 1,751 Kb through to 2019.

Finding what you need in ORR's progress report on health by 2014

Links to each chapter in our updated report are provided below to help you find those sections of particular interest to you. Most of the chapters include a useful summary of key findings in tinted boxes. You can find a full list of references and footnotes pdf icon PDF, 69 Kb, which may be helpful if you are looking at individual chapters rather than the full report. 

Download the full document

Full infographic

Better health is happening - Health in rail infographic