The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) accepts police work is inherently dangerous, even where all reasonably practicable steps have been taken to minimise the risks; nevertheless, police officers should not be exposed to unnecessary, or known, dangers without consideration on how best to keep them safe.
PFEW has always played a vital role in ensuring officers go home safe and well. We know the safest and healthiest forces are those which involve their Federation branch and work closely with our health and safety representatives.
Part of the role of the national health and safety leads is to consult with the PFEW’s health and safety reps across the country and with our National Council regarding issues impacting on the health, safety and welfare of our members.
We continue to work with our leads to provide them with the tools they need to push forces to do better for our members.
Better uniform, PPE and equipment, better welfare facilities, better training to do their role safely and better Occupational Health Services to proactively support officers to prevent injury and illness, instead of waiting until something happens.
Controlling health and safety risks requires consideration and collaboration. This partnership approach is recognised by health and safety laws which set down legal obligations on employers to work with their employees in the belief this is the best way to develop a positive health and safety culture.
We will continue to engage with our employers and other stakeholders across the country, reiterating their legal obligations to our members to seeing improvements across the board to ensure our officers are being treated fairly and are not exposed to unnecessary, avoidable risks.
Our Health and Safety Workstream priorities have been set to support PFEW 2025’s overall objectives and are as follows:
• Priority one: ensure forces comply, so far as reasonably practicably, with all health and safety legislation and robustly challenge those who fail to do so.
• Priority two: give PFEW health and safety reps/leads the tools they need to work effectively with their employers by delivering professional training and quality continuous professional development.
• Priority three: highlight the risks of fatigue across policing via our Target Fatigue initiative, reduce the stigma around this and ensure forces are using all proportionate control measures to protect officers.
• Priority four: ensure all branches of the Police Federation of England and Wales comply with health and safety legislation in relation to their responsibilities as employers and property owners/managers.