As employees become more alert to workplace risks, particularly in light of COVID-19, a safety conscious culture is more important than ever before so that workers have the confidence that their employer is taking action and that they’re being cared for.
In order to comply with current health and safety legislation, businesses must make sure that they have effective health and safety management systems and processes in place. However, the reality in the statistics serves as an apt reminder that more needs to be done to create safer workplaces and improve health and safety.
In December 2021, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its annual statistics on work-related health and safety in Great Britain. In 2020/2021, HSE figures show that:
- 1.7 million working people were suffering from work-related ill health in the UK
- 441,000 workers sustained injuries, 142 fatally
- £26.9 million in fines resulting from prosecutions taken, or referred to COPFS for prosecution in Scotland, by HSE where a conviction was achieved in 2020/21
- The average fine per case has increased by 35%, from £107,000 to £145,000
Strengthening safety culture can help streamline communication and bring teams together while improving safety records and driving safer outcomes. By having the right mechanisms in place to observe and report both poor and best practices you can create a High Participation Safety Culture across your organisation and make a positive difference.
In addition to protecting workers and saving lives, investment in a safety programme will help organisations benefit in other areas such as company credibility and reputation, employee morale, and worker retention rates.
To meet the ideal of a High Participation Culture, there are five proactive steps that safety professionals can take towards a winning safety culture which are detailed in a new whitepaper by the EHSQ and supply chain compliance experts at Alcumus. In brief:
- Get senior leadership invested in safety: C-Suite and senior management should be fully engaged in delivering positive safety outcomes and truly believe in and promote the value this will bring to the business
- Look beyond your core workforce: Many organisations use contractors, or suppliers deemed ‘high risk’ for a whole host of reasons. However, safety incident rates are typically three times higher for contractors compared with permanent staff. Therefore, the right prequalification for health and safety, RAMS, capabilities and insurance is critical.
- Close the feedback loop: Share necessary insights with team members to connect the workforce and improve safety culture.
- Provide training resources and a training programme: Trained employees embrace safety culture more readily because they are aware of hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining workplace safety.
- Find the right partner: By getting the right blend of technology and support services in place, organisations can take their health and safety strategy from reactive to proactive with a measurable reduction in accidents.
“Businesses, large and small, have a fundamental duty of care to protect employees. If you do not have a health and safety expert within your organisation, it can be hard to know if you’re doing enough. It is very easy to miss the mark, so it’s helpful to turn to professional expertise where needed and put robust risk management and software solutions in place to assess and act, in the best interest of your people, which are the most important asset in any organisation.”
Helen Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise at Alcumus
Get Ahead by Building a Winning Health and Safety Culture
In our new whitepaper we reflect on how you can get ahead by creating a winning health and safety culture.
Nobody goes to work to get injured or become unwell. The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show that 1.7 million working people were suffering from work-related ill health in the UK. The reality in these statistics prove that we need to do more to create safer workplaces and improve health and safety in the workplace.