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Don’t let your organisation become a statistic

HSE Health and Safety Statistics 2012/2013

Health and safety is often given a hard press as it can be used as an excuse for preventing staff, customers and those in an organisation’s care from doing certain activities.

Think about bans on playing conkers, wearing glasses on bouncy castles, and more topically, workers being banned from putting up Christmas decorations around their desks.  In some cases, there may be good reasons for restrictions, but H&S is often used to mask the real thinking behind them.

However Health and Safety regulations do serve a useful purpose, and this is borne out when you review the accident statistics for the UK.

Despite a host of rules and regulations being in place an astonishing number of people become injured or are taken suddenly unwell whilst at work each year. Recent statistics from the HSE for the reporting year 2012 / 2013 show that during the year:

  • 148 were killed at work
  • 78,000 other injuries to employees were reported to RIDDOR
  • 175,000 over 7-day absence injuries occurred
  • 27 million working days were lost due to work related-related illness  and accidents

(source HSE annual statistics 2012/2013)

Obviously this costs both in the financial sense as well as the loss, pain, injury and discomfort for the individuals involved and their families.

Carrying out a thorough risk assessment, and putting in place the resultant safety measures, robust procedures and well trained first aiders is of paramount importance. In the event of an emergency you want to know that there are people around who can confidently help until the emergency services arrive.

As the New Year approaches you should be doing the following:

  1. Reviewing your risk assessments in light of changes to your organisation over the last 12 months
  2. Updating your first aid needs analysis to see whether your working practices / employees have changed
  3. Reviewing your first aid procedures
  4. Assessing whether you  have adequate numbers of first aiders to cover shifts/different buildings/annual leave etc
  5. Considering whether having a defibrillator on site might be of benefit to your workforce
  6. Checking that your first aid kits are correctly stocked, with in-date contents
  7. Checking whether your first aiders up to date with their qualifications and whether they are confident that they could deal with an emergency

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