The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it’ll be putting on a series of events around the UK in April to help businesses be more aware of what could be done to look after their employees while they’re at work.
Events have already been held in Swansea, with others in Glasgow, Coventry and London. The final one will be held in Manchester next month (April). The organisation has also devised new sector plans based on risk profile and industry type, so that all sectors have a base on which they can build and improve later down the line.
The HSE is now calling on those who attend the events to think about how these plans can be implemented to best effect, asking how duty holders and the HSE can now work together and how employees and others can be reached in new and different ways.
Figures from the HSE show that in 2016, work-related illnesses affected approximately 1.3 million employees, with almost 26 million working days lost as a result. What’s more, economically more than £9 billion a year is eaten up because of this – and that’s just for new cases and doesn’t include ongoing costs associated with past working conditions.
The HSE is now keen for companies to understand that by focusing on proportionate and sensible risk management, growth will be supported, innovation enabled and the workforce protected.
Of course, you can’t prevent accidents from taking place entirely but you can devise disaster preparedness & response plans so that you can take action quickly if something does happen… which it almost certainly will, especially in sectors like the construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries.
Working at height is certainly something that all businesses should take seriously if this is a job that’s likely to crop up from time to time. Just this month (March), a 37-year-old man who was working at Kilgallioch wind farm on the border of Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland fell to his death while working on a giant wind turbine.
According to the Scottish Sun, it’s not yet clear how the man fell, although some of the site’s turbines are 480ft high. A spokesperson from the Scottish Ambulance Service was quoted by the news source as saying: “We dispatched one ambulance, a manager, our Helimed air ambulance and our emergency medical retrieval service to the scene. The coastguard and our special operations response team were also dispatched but were later stood down. A male patient was taken to hospital by road.”
No doubt the company in question had carried out a full risk assessment for the work involved, yet an accident still took place. As you can see, it’s essential that you do know what to do in an emergency as it could mean the difference between life and death.
If you need any help or advice with emergency plans and incident management, get in touch with us at HFR Solutions CIC today.