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Survey shows employers could do better with health and safety

26 April 2016

A recent industry study has revealed that one in three UK workers believe their employer could do more to improve workplace health and safety.

Timed to coincide with the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, the survey shows that despite the UK's improving record more there is more work to be done in this area.

The survey was conducted by Direct365 and the company also spoke to health and safety experts to ask for advice for employers on protecting workers.

The company's head of digital Phil Turner said companies should avoid being complacent about health and safety in the believe they have done enough.

He stated it is essential employees are kept as safe as possible at work.

"Employers may believe their work environments are up to scratch but, as our research shows, there is always more that they can be doing to make improvements, whether that change is big or small."

Health and Safety Training managing director Phil Banks says companies that hire from outside the UK should take steps to ensure understands the rules and the part they play in keeping everyone safe and healthy.

“Of increasing importance for the future of health and safety is providing workers with basic skills training, such as English and maths; this is especially important for the increasing number of migrant workers who may have learned their trade under a different culture of health and safety.

“Ensuring these workers have the basic skills to communicate with colleagues and employers will help them to integrate into their workplace more effectively, which in turn will allow them to develop a better understanding of health and safety regulations," he said.

Plan for the worst

No one can predict when an incident will occur, but the ability to react well under pressure, especially in a workplace environment, can make all the difference. Penny Hydraulics general manager Jess Penny recommends that businesses plan in advance for every eventuality:

“Have a concrete action plan for as many potential accident and emergency scenarios as possible, this will include an order of the events that need to take place in the event of each emergency scenario. In a panicked situation, people need to know what they are required to do and in what order.”

Have the right equipment

Ensuring that all the equipment in your office or workplace is both working and compliant with the right regulations for your industry should be another high priority for employers. Mr Turner advises that conducting regular checks around the office is a simple way for businesses to steer clear of potential accidents:

“Employers should regularly review their safety procedures, and ensure that all current and existing employees are aware of them. This includes the locations of fire extinguishers and fire exits, the safety of each individual’s working area and where the first aid kits are. Any missing or damaged equipment should be replaced as soon as possible, and regular training sessions should be held for those who have fire safety or first aid responsibilities.”

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