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5 Using “health in all policies” – framework to integrate safety
  1. Francesca Racioppi
  1. World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark;
  2. © World Health Organization 2016. License BMJ.
  3. Disclaimer: The author is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in this publication and they do not necessarily represent the views, decisions or policies of the World Health Organization.

Abstract

Background “Health in all policies (HiAP) is an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health and health systems implications of decisions, seeks synergies and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity” (Health in all policies – Seizing opportunities, implementing policies. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2013).

Description of the problem Drawing from the HiAP approach, a “safety in all policies” (SiAP) framework could help integrating safety into sectoral policies, such as those of transport, infrastructure, housing, leisure, entertainment, sport, justice, education, labour, social services and industry. This calls for “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approaches, as well as for “system approaches”. Through these, safety could become a key component of sectoral performance, and contribute to increasing efficiency, enhancing sectoral performance, reducing inequalities and preventable loss. SiAP entails ownership and accountability for safety by relevant sectors, and promotes a shift towards a proactive identification and management of risks. It could also promote new partnerships between the safety community and different sectors, benefiting from an evidence-based public health approach to safety.

Results With several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including targets related to safety, SiAP may support the attainment of the SDGs. On the other side, the SDGs provide additional legitimacy and facilitate the implementation of SiAP by placing safety targets squarely within relevant policy domains.

Conclusions SiAP requires a cultural shift, and the development of a robust understanding and appreciation of the long-term health, developmental and economic benefits offered by integrating safety in sectoral policies. It may also require changes to institutional accountability frameworks and to how sectoral performance gets appraised.

  • Prevention
  • Policy
  • Safety
  • Sustainable Development

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