The 28th of April marks the World Day for Health and Safety at Work, a worldwide campaign run by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) annually to raise awareness and to prevent occupational accidents and diseases.

This year, the ISO, supported by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), is calling for countries to put in place “sound and resilient occupational safety and health (OSH) systems that would minimize the risks for everyone in the world of work in the event of future health emergencies”

As the world continues to battle the global coronavirus pandemic and businesses in the UK begin to work towards a ‘new normal’ of living alongside the virus, it has never been more important to focus on the health and safety of employees in the workplace. As well as the usual workplace risks, employees have now been seen to contract coronavirus from the workplace where measures have not been put in place to minimise this risk. The ISO has also noted that the events of the past year or so have had a significant impact on the mental health of workers.

Safety in the Workplace

According to statistics for 2019-20 released by the Health and Safety Executive, 1.6 million people in the UK were suffering from a work-related illness while 693,000 people suffered an injury at work. 111 people were also killed as a result of an accident at work.

The cost to employers is not just in the form of money for compensation claims or fines but also in lost days of work as a result of an employee needing to take time off to recover from an injury which amounted to 38.8 million in the period analysed for the latest statistics.

Every business will have different health and safety risks and it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure these risks are managed. Examples of measures to take could include:

  • Ensuring workplaces are frequently cleaned to a high standard to prevent the spread of infection or disease;

  • Providing appropriate PPE to employees and making sure you have a safe system in place for cleaning and distributing PPE;

  • Training employees correctly and regularly in the use of specialist machinery and ensuring supervision where necessary;

  • Communicating all requirements relating to Covid-19 safety and ensuring all employees understand the importance of abiding by the relevant rules, including social distancing in the workplace;

  • Keeping employees’ training records up to date;

  • Ensuring risk assessments are updated;

  • Completing workstation assessments where employees work at desks to ensure the height of computer screens, desks and seating are appropriate for posture;

  • Designating a first aid trained employee who is able to administer basic first-aid if there is an accident.

Speak to a Personal Injury Solicitor

Whether you are a business owner who has been issued with a letter of claim or an employee who has been injured following an accident at work, it is important you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to discuss your next steps in making or defending a claim. Our personal injury specialists are on hand to give you the straightforward advice you need to move forward. Call us today on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online contact form.