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:
(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: