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Improve risk management practices to improve employee safety

According to recent research released by the Health and Safety Executive, UK businesses need to do more to better protect their employees at work.

With close to 150 fatalities in the past financial year, equating to 1 death in every 200,000 employees, employers are urged to review the risks of the environments in which their employees work, and improve protocol to better protect their people.

Here David McCann, training manager for First Security, discusses how training can lead to improved employee safety.

In addition to social costs such as damage to a business’ reputation, workplace injuries and illnesses have a major impact on an employer’s bottom line, both directly and indirectly; direct costs can include workers’ compensation payments or costs for legal services. Indirect costs can include sourcing and training replacement employees, accident investigation, implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment and property, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.

Of course, any harm done to a worker as a result of a workplace injury far outweighs any penalty a business may experience.

So, how can businesses better protect their employees, and themselves, from work-related injuries or fatalities? It all starts with risk management.

Assessing, identifying and understanding risk allows businesses to implement effective practices to mitigate these risks. The most effective way to develop these skills is through training.

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s biggest health and safety membership organisation, the only Chartered body for health and safety professionals, and a world leader in health and safety training.  Working with training providers, IOSH facilitates a training package, IOSH Managing Safety, to enable managers and employees to better understand health and safety in the workplace and relevant legislation, as well as being able to identify, review and manage risk effectively so businesses can manage and improve health and safety within the workplace.

The nationally recognised, and internationally acknowledged, qualification is regarded as the highest quality risk assessment training; achieving control measures that will not be attained by a simple ‘tick box’ assessment approach.

IOSH training goes beyond benefiting just the business. The practices and knowledge can be filtered through to the wider employee group, creating a ripple effect through to clients, and their employees and visitors. This can develop a deeper understanding of health and safety in working environments, encouraging people to be more aware of their surroundings. Recognising and reporting a potential hazard or risk can result in less incidents, and with the wider business community developing a stronger ‘don’t just walk by’ attitude, we will see a good improvement in the safety of working environments.

Introducing and maintaining IOSH standards within a workplace can be as simple as workshops, signage around work spaces, updates in meetings or tool box talks, regular inclusions in internal newsletters, the list goes on.

The long term benefits of introducing IOSH standards far outweigh any financial or time expense.  The most obvious benefit is providing a safer environment for everyone. In addition to this, in the event of an injury, or fatality in worst case, and an investigation shows all health and safety practices have been implemented, and adhered to, based on IOSH standards, any penalty to the business could be far less severe.

As an approved IOSH training provider, First Security is working with businesses across the UK to improve risk management protocols. With the increase in awareness, knowledge and skills this training provides, we are working towards providing safer working environments for all.

To discover more on how First Security can assist you improve the health and safety of your workplace get in touch today on 020 7837 5424 or visit www.first-security.co.uk

IOSH www.iosh.co.uk

Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk

David McCann

Training Manager for First Security

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