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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Why are some businesses slipping up when it comes to Health and Safety?

08-Mar-2018
Why are some businesses slipping up when it comes to Health and Safety?
The UK’s weather is often unpredictable, from icy mornings to wet and windy conditions, inclement weather can be a dangerous combination especially in the working environment. This is particularly problematic when it comes to slips and trips, which the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) finds to be the most common cause of workplace injuries.

However, what is even more concerning is the attitude towards health and safety across the country, with additional research finding that many businesses are actually failing to meet the basic laws in place to properly protect staff. Here, Khurram Akhtar of Supertouch explores the issue and what can be done.

Failing to seriously consider health and safety within a business is a very expensive mistake, with slips and trips costing over £500m a year in lost production and other expenses. However, a survey of 2,000 employees found that 65 per cent had not received any information on their companies health and safety policies, and even for those that did, 27 per cent felt their company’s health and safety manual didn’t go into enough detail about their role and the dangers they could face. This left 32 per cent of workers feeling that they were not equipped to deal with a dangerous situation, saying they would only have a vague idea as to what to do and would need to ask for help or consult procedure documents first. 

The solution to this can only be a top down approach in which those in senior positions instil a good health and safety ethos throughout, providing detailed information and support in order to improve the knowledge and competency of the workforce. This will have a number of immediate benefits for businesses. Not only does it mean you are less likely to have to deal with legal disputes and compensation claims, it also helps to create a more productive and profitable environment if workers can go about their job independently in a safe and effective manner. It can also reduce the number of absences and sick leave, and improve staff retention, as well as helping to keep insurance premiums low.

When it comes to protecting staff from workplace injuries, the role of workwear should never be underestimated. In order to prevent slips and trips in particular, those working across varying terrains should consider safety footwear with improved grip and slip resistant soles. In addition, poor visibility is likely to increase accidents, meaning the standard and spec of safety eyewear worn is important. For example, those who often move from indoor to outdoor applications, such as in logistics or construction roles, should opt for glasses with Indoor and Outdoor (I/O) mirror lenses, which improve visibility in environments with different levels of light. Alternatively, those working in temperate atmospheres should ensure their safety eyewear has a quality anti-fog coating.

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injuries, yet when good practices are put in place, they are also the most easily avoidable. For businesses, the risks are not worth being complacent and it pays to be clued up. Ensuring staff are safe should be a number one priority and equipping them with the tools they need can benefit a business in more ways than one.

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