Why you should review your Health and Safety policy now

24 Aug

Although some sectors have higher rates of workplace injuries, such as construction and manufacturing, accidents can happen in any industry or profession. A typical office may seem low risk, but with slips, trips and falls accounting for 29% of workplace injuries in 2016-2017, it’s not hard to imagine accidents happening even in the least likely of places.

In addition to injuries, workplaces and the types of work being carried out can also have an affect on health or make existing health conditions worse. The most common conditions include stress, depression and anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss, occupational lung disease, hand-arm vibration, asbestos-related diseases, occupational cancer, and skin diseases. Some of these symptoms can even appear years after exposure, making it extremely important to be observant and assess the risks in your workplace.

Below, we lift the lid on the latest Health and Safety figures for Great Britain, released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in their Annual Statistics Report. These figures are a stark reminder of why it’s important to regularly review your Health and Safety policy and the aims and objectives that are being set and committed to by the Organisation.

An overview of Health and Safety cases in 2016-2017

  • 137 people were killed at work
  • There were 609,000 cases of self-reported injuries at work
  • 1.3 million people suffered from an illness that they believed was caused or made worse by their work
  • 70,116 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013)

What this meant for businesses…

  • 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries
  • 11,913 enforcement notices were issued by all enforcing authorities
  • 554 cases were prosecuted by the HSE, Local Authorities and The Crown Office, and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in Scotland
  • £69.9 million in fines were distributed as a result of prosecutions taken, or referred to the COPFS for prosecution in Scotland

What you can do to protect your employees

If you haven’t got a Health and Safety policy in place, there’s no time like the present to get started. Injuries and health conditions that are brought on or made worse by the workplace or work being performed can end up being very costly to your business. It’s important that a risk assessment is carried out to help you protect your employees as much as you reasonably can.

If you already have an operating Health and Safety policy, make sure you are renewing it on an ongoing basis (formally once a year) or as things change. It is essential that commitment to the aims, objectives and arrangements outlined in your Health and Safety Policy is maintained and takes into account any changes within your business. Over time, as new processes and equipment are introduced or as the business grows, fresh risks can arise or existing risks can change.

Can we help you?

If you have any questions or would like us to help you with compiling a Health and Safety Policy and Health and Safety Management System, please do not hesitate to call us on 02920 853794 or email us at lauren.dickinson@thomas-carroll.co.uk.

We also have a variety of courses taking place throughout the year, including Principles of Risk Assessment, IOSH Managing Safely and Safety for Directors training. Click here to learn more about our courses and book your place today.