Health and Safety Update | April 2021
Health and Safety Update | April 2021
Our Health and Safety Consultant, Colin Jones, provides us with a Health and Safety update for April 2021.
Getting back to normal?
COVID restrictions are continuing to ease, and more and more businesses are reopening. We all want to see a return to a normal way of life but now is the time to ensure we do things right so we don’t take a step backward. Staff who have been furloughed or working remotely for an extended period of time will need support to get back into the working routine and familiarise themselves with the workplace again. You may have to make changes, review policies, and undertake risk assessments in readiness to get operational again. It is important to provide training for your staff to help them get back up to speed on health and safety in the workplace.
Why is Health and Safety training important?
Over 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work and over 1 million people are injured. Over 2 million suffer illnesses caused by or made worse by, their work. So, preventing accidents and ill health caused by work should be a priority for everyone at work.
As the owner or manager of a business, you know the importance of having staff who are productive and fully appreciate the importance of good health and safety practices.
Providing Health & Safety information and training helps you to:
- Ensure you or your staff are not injured or made ill by the work they do
- Develop a positive health & safety culture, where safe & healthy working becomes second nature to everyone
- Discover how you could manage health and safety better
- Meet your legal duty to protect the health & safety of your staff
Effective training will:
- Contribute towards making your staff competent in health & safety
- Help your business avoid the distress that accidents and ill health cause
- Help you avoid the financial costs of accidents & occupational ill-health
- Motivate your staff, as they feel their safety and wellbeing is being considered
What are the legal duties of employers under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999?
Regulation 10(1) of MHSWR 1999, requires employers to provide comprehensible and relevant information to their employees on the risks to their health and safety identified by the risk assessment. Preventive and protective measures.
New tools to prevent, reduce and manage stress
Employers are being urged to review the stress-causing factors in their workplaces and the work that their employees do.
Stress, depression, or anxiety accounts for 51% of all work-related ill health cases, and 55% of all working days lost are due to work-related ill health. Stress impacts on all sectors and businesses of all sizes. Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it.
Evidence shows that there are six key factors that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health, lower productivity, and increased accident and sickness absence rates.
The six key factors are:
- Demands: workload, work patterns, and the work environment
- Control: how much say the person has in the way they do their work
- Support: encouragement, sponsorship, and resources available to workers
- Relationships: promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour
- Role: whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles
- Change: how change (large or small) is managed and communicated.
Rob Vondy, Head of Stress and Mental Health Policy at HSE, says: “It’s well known that stress can make you ill. We know that work-related stress depression and anxiety have increased in recent years, and the last year has presented new challenges that have never been faced before, and which may affect the workplaces of the UK for some time to come.
“Good communication is vital as stress affects people differently – what stresses one person may not affect another. If you don’t understand the problem or its extent, tackling it will be more difficult. Factors like skills and experience, age, or disability may all affect whether an employee can cope. People feel stress when they can’t cope with the pressures or demands put on them, either in work or other outside issues. Start talking to your colleagues about any issues now – the earlier a problem is tackled the less impact it will have.
“Employers should match demands to employees’ skills and knowledge. Recognising the signs of stress will help employers to take steps to prevent, reduce and manage stress in the workplace. Healthy and safe work and workplaces are good for business and good for workers.”
If you have any Health and Safety concerns or would like to discuss anything further, please get in contact with the HPC team today.
T: 0844 800 5932