Workplace health and safety standards

These NHS workplace health and safety standards, updated for 2023, provide the basis of effective health and safety management to support your staff.

29 August 2023

Read the HSWG Workplace health and safety standards External link icon

This guidance was developed by the NHS Staff Council's Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group (HSWG)through partnership working between unions, management and specialist advisors.


HSWG recognises that partnership working ensures best outcomes for patients and staff in protecting their health, safety and wellbeing and wishes to ensure this guidance is implemented with the same partnership approach.

There is strong evidence linking patient safety, patient experiences and the quality of care with the safety, health and wellbeing of the workforce. These standards pull together legal requirements and guidance to help organisations comply with goal-setting legislation.

These updated workplace health and safety standards are aimed at directors and managers with health and safety responsibilities, health and safety professionals and trade union safety representatives. They provide practical pointers and signposting for meeting appropriate standards in key areas of workforce health and safety.

The standards: 

  • describe the principles which provide the basis of effective health and safety management
  • set out the issues which need to be addressed 
  • provide links to the relevant guidance 
  • can be used for developing improvement programmes, self audit or self assessment.

Download the standards to see more.

Workplace health and safety standards webinar

In March 2023 we hosted a 90-minute webinar outlining latest updates on the workplace health and safety standards and how these can best be implemented to support your workforce.

The webinar was hosted by Jenny Michael and Kim Sunley, co-chairs of the NHS Staff Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group. It featured presentations from the Health and Safety Executive on key findings and recommendations from recent inspection activity, and from the assistant director of health and safety at Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

You can download the presentation slides or watch the full webinar recording below:

Become a member of HSWG 

If you work within health, safety and wellbeing in an NHS organisation and are interested in becoming a member of HSWG, please do get in touch with us to express your interest via

Find further HSWG resources to support you in your organisation.