The concept of health and safety doesn’t always get the most enthusiastic response in the workplace.
However, almost every industry in existence has potential health risks, which can be life-limiting or even life threatening. In reality, even so-called ‘minor’ injuries can have ongoing negative consequences for both employers and their employees, meaning complacency is never an option where health and safety is concerned.
So that workers can return to their families safe and well at the end of each shift, it is imperative that employers and all those responsible for health and safety in the workplace ensure all measures are being taken to protect workers from injury or death.
The start of a new year is as good a time as any to check that your workplace is following the best and latest advice. While no substitute for an official health and safety assessment, here are some top tips to ensure that 2023 is a safe and happy one for your workplace.
Health And Safety Statistics 2022
A great place to start for improving health and safety in 2023, is to look at the latest figures released for 2022. Namely, the human impact of poor health and safety practices, along with where improvements are still badly needed.
The HSE has recently published a report entitled ‘Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2022‘.
Here is a brief overview of what the report said:
- 123 workers were killed at work in 2021/22.
- Work-related illnesses and injuries are costing the UK economy £18.8 billion per year.
- 36.8 million working days are lost each year due to work-related illness and injury.
- Slips, trips and falls remain the biggest cause of death of UK workers while on the job.
- Handling, lifting or carrying is the second biggest cause of UK workers while on the job.
- 17 million work days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
- 914,000 new cases of work-related mental health conditions were reported in 2021/22.
- Back injuries accounted for 42% of all musculoskeletal work-related injuries.
While these figures are certainly heading in the right direction compared with a few decades ago when workplace deaths were much higher, across the board more work is still needed to reduce work-related injuries and deaths.
In addition, mental health in the workplace remains equally important as physical health, with conditions such as work-related anxiety, stress and depression remaining far too high.
Review The Latest Health & Safety Updates For Your Industry
When was the last time you reviewed official HSE guidance about the specific work carried out in your workplace?
Working in accordance with outdated information is an easy mistake to make, but one which can have disastrous consequences, both in terms of potential legal action for employers, as well as increasing the risk of workplace illness and injuries for employees.
A great place to keep an eye on is the safety alerts and notices section of the HSE website. Here, dangerous issues associated with machinery, tools or general ways of working are flagged up. Keeping on top of all issues related to your industry and application types ensures your company will never miss a beat where its health and safety knowledge is concerned.
Embrace Better Tools & Technology
Are your tools and processes as safe, as well as efficient as they should be?
Material handling and fall protection equipment are perfect examples of this. Something we specialise in here at Metreel is the likes of workstation cranes, fall arrest, fall restraint and abseil equipment.
Why use equipment that can help employees to lift and reposition heavy loads more safely? Or even scale buildings while greatly minimising the risk of falls?
It’s simple – because such tools and technologies make the job safer for everyone. An added bonus is that increased safety also brings with it a more efficient way of working too.
Now is the time to have a think about any processes within your business which could benefit from the same treatment, particularly where there is repetitive work, or an increased risk of slips, trips or falls.
Listen To Employee Feedback
Finally, one essential step every employer can take in 2023 is to have better dialogue with their employees, particularly in regards to how work can be made safer for everyone.
As well as speaking to employees directly, take a look at the work accident book, or any other reports about work-related illnesses or injuries are occurring on-site. Put a plan in place to address any unsafe or inefficient practices, while ensuring employees fully understand how to keep themselves safe at work.
In combination, an open conversation along with taking actionable steps is the best way to learn from past issues while setting a better standard of working going forward.
Improve The Safety & Efficiency Of Your Industrial Operations With Metreel Material Handling
Are you looking to make your workplace operations safer and more efficient in 2023 and beyond?
Metreel is a leading manufacturer and installer of powerfeed, height safety and mechanical handling solutions. Based in Derbyshire, we design and install our products across the UK. Our innovations help to speed up operations while reducing the risk of work-related injuries or illnesses.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your workplace a safer place for your entire team.