Every year, thousands of people in the UK are forced to take time off work due to health and safety - related issues. According to the Health and Safety Executive in 2017/2018 there were 144 fatal injuries to workers. They also recorded, 30.7 million working days were lost due to workplace injuries/illness.
The Costs of poor health and safety
- Compensation- which also would include legal costs of both parties
- Loss of productivity- if someone is not at work due to injury or illness
- Treatment- first aid, hospital bills, physio ect.
- Prosecution- including legal costs
- Reputation of the company and its values
- Pain, suffering and possible disability for the injured party
Causes of accidents and ill health
- Slips and Trips
- Poor handling, lifting and carrying techniques
- Falls from height
- Misuse of machinery
- Using harmful substances
- Not following instructions
- Noise-induced illness
There are 3 factors to consider when identifying the cause of an accident:
Environmental Factors- these are associates with the area in which we work and include safe floors, safe entry and exit routes, noise, facilities, space, lighting, heating and ventilation.
Human Factors – these refer to the behaviour and ability of the individual, what we do and why we do it. The following can cause injuries:
- Lack of knowledge- due to insufficient training or instructions
- Lack of concentration- due to tiredness, complacency, boredom or distraction. Drinking alcohol or long working hours can contribute towards this
- Horseplay- the workplace is not an area in which to fool around
- Lack of capability- sometimes, however well trained, certain workers are unable to do the job safely
Occupational Factors- these are directly related to the job or task and include the manual handling of loads, use of equipment and the use of hazardous substances.
The simplest path to a safer workplace