It goes without saying that workers in hazardous roles, such as construction or manual labour, will be faced with more risks during their time on the job than those working in a low risk profession, such as office work – often, staff in these industries will be expected to operate dangerous machinery or handle heavy goods.
Given that there are greater risks, it would be safe to assume companies in these hazardous sectors take health and safety much more seriously in order to keep their staff away from harm. Right?
Well, according to recent research we conducted as part of our ‘Work Safe’ report, shockingly a quarter of employees working in hazardous job roles believe that their employers aren’t actually doing enough to keep them safe at work.
Almost two thirds (65%) of employees have never received any information on their company’s health and safety policies. And a fifth (18%) would have no idea how to report an issue or hazard at work, despite there being a higher chance of this occurring in dangerous working environments.
Our results are also supported by statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, which found that during 2016 and 2017, 137 workers were killed, with 76% of these having been employed in dangerous professions. Some of the most frequent fatal accidents that occur include being hit by a moving vehicle, falling from height and being struck by a moving object – accidents that could be avoided if robust health and safety are in place.
When accidents happen, they serve as a reminder as to the importance of having robust health and safety procedures in place be in order to keep staff safe. When employees are not trained on how to work safely, or the correct procedures are not put in place, there is a greater risk of accidents happening – especially in these more hazardous industries. Failing to supply workers with the correct information and guidance on health and safety policies could land business owners with a hefty fine, or even a prison sentence in extreme cases.
It’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure businesses are compliant with current legislation. One of the obstacles that many companies experience when it comes to keeping their health and safety documents up-to-date centres around the fact that these files are often still printed on paper. And as policies can change quite regularly, especially in risky industries where new machinery or equipment may be introduced quite frequently, this can make it extremely time consuming and expensive to update company handbooks every time an amendment needs to be made.
But, there is a solution to help keep employees safe and ensure that working practices are compliant with the law. Rather than relying on paper-based methods to record health and safety policies, there are effective digital solutions available that can make the process of updating information much easier.
Unlike paper documents, digital versions are a much more efficient and cost effective solution as they can be backed up in the cloud, meaning that they won’t get lost or damaged, and can be updated in a few easy steps. New copies of the files can then be sent straight to every employee in the company to ensure full compliance at the click of a button. This ensures that all staff are well informed of how to operate correctly and avoid dangerous incidents from happening. This is not only quicker and more convenient, but also a more cost-effective solution, as it means that new handbooks don’t have to be printed and physically distributed across the entire company every time new legislation is drafted.
Ultimately, enforcing effective health and safety policies needs to remain a top priority for businesses – regardless of the industry they are operating in. However, this is particularly important for those in more hazardous sectors where accidents have a higher chance of occurring. If current methods of implementing procedures are not working as well as they should be, company’s need to explore other options to ensure they are doing all they can to keep staff safe. In our increasingly tech-savvy world, the answer could be investing in a reliable digital data capture solution.
For more information, please visit: http://www.workmobileforms.com/research-and-whitepapers/