Author - Alex McHugh RIS Group
Health and safety is a touchy subject. As a whole people in the UK are sick of having to abide by health and safety regulations because, yes, a lot of it is ridiculous. We here about schools not letting children play conkers in the playground and we hear about work induction being taken up by health and safety tick boxes about how to sit at our desk appropriately. We automatically think “health and safety is going crazy again!”
These disaster stories of children being hurt in school and then parents turn round and get an easy cash prize at the end of it, then a system needs to be made so the same situation doesn’t happen again, or the easier, cheaper, more negative option, ban the activity all together.
Whatever the solution is, its a negative one. It would be easy to turn around and say it was an accident, kiss it better and its fine, buts its not as easy as that.
180 people die a year in an accident at work, 1.1 million are suffering from work related illness, 111,000 other injuries are reported to RIDDOR, 212,000 over 3 day absentees, 27 million working days lost due to work related illness which amounted to £13.4 billion in overall costs to business and the government.
Health and safety is still a major issue in our society. A number of questions can come from this:
Are people taking health and safety seriously?
Do people follow there health and safety regulations that have been put in place?
Are people taking advantage of the system?
Are workers aware of there health and safety needs?
Yes documents need to be in place to certain standards such as the ISO 9001 or 18001, machinery checks need to be completed, entering a building needs to be monitored for a number of reason: fire registers, competency of people walking round the building etc. Inductions need to be done to make sure new staff know these fire procedures, who the first aiders are, and what to do when there is an accident, PPE needs to be worn depending on your companies policies.
But again we get this negative and fearful attitude about it all: it all seems a bit much, or, I've been working here for 20 years without checks, PPE, or supervision, and never had an accident, whats the point. The point is when something crushes them they'll have no time to think about the machinery check they should of done before it.
Health and safety needs to be done and put in place to reduce the statistics above, but it changes with our attitude and our work culture.
Simplify it, make it easy for everyone. It should never be seen as something that gets in the way of your business productivity, it should be a procedure thats out in place to make your company more productive, safe, efficient, quality based, environmental and as a result enjoyable.
Let us know what your opinion on health and safety in your sector, we would love to solve any issues and make your job as easy and safe as possible.