Health and Safety has been an increasingly hot topic in recent years, especially amongst the workplace. As an employer you have a legal obligation to ensure staff within your organisation are safe at all times. This includes providing them with regular risk assessments, adequate training and measures in place should an employee encounter an accident.
The impact of new guidelines:
Within the past two years, new sentencing guidelines have made it tougher and costlier for managers, directors and UK companies to ignore their health and safety obligations.
Experts have suggested the tougher guidelines introduced last February as part of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (2007) was the real ‘game changer’ for organisations. With this piece of legislation in place, companies can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.
Consequences of not following the law:
The consequences for not following health and safety procedures in the workplace can be serious. Legislatively speaking, it can affect the reputation of your organisation and set you back financially.
The most common penalty received by firms for an employee suffering an injury or fatality is a fine. According to the HSE, over £40 million worth of fines were issued in 2016/17 across the UK. Of this staggering amount, the Manufacturing and Construction sectors paid the most in fines as a result of health and safety breaches. Most of the more fatal injuries within these industries were caused due to falling from height. Meanwhile, the most non-fatal injuries were caused by slip, trips or falls.
An article by the Safety and Health Practitioners (SHP) revealed exactly how different organisations can be affected by this penalty. Micro organisations with a turnover of less than £2 million tend to get hit with fines ranging from £50 to £450,000 per serious incident. Larger, corporate organisations with a turnover of £50 million and above can be fined between £3,000 and £10 million, depending on the offence.
Cases where an employee has lost their life due to a workplace accident are by nature taken much more seriously. When it can be clearly identified in court that the law has been deliberately broken with signs of negligence of procedures, the employer responsible can face the risk of imprisonment.
Avoid the penalties:
With the harsh reality of the matter being apparent, Health and Safety should be at the top of every organisations priority list.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. With simple changes you can minimise the levels of risk that your staff are exposed to. First thing’s first, identify the risks that your employees face. It’s much easier to put safety measures into place after conducting a full risk assessment.
Training employees is also an important safety practice that every organisation should implement. Train employees in how to deal with emergency situations. Ensure they are first aid trained and know how minor injuries can be dealt with before becoming a bigger problem.
Implementing the right solution:
Implementing a lone worker solution is an effective way in which to protect employees. For individuals working alone, it can be challenging to seek for help efficiently in an emergency. Guardian24’s service offers lone workers a range of personal safety solutions, providing them 24/7 backup. With just a press of the devices SOS button, the user is able to trigger an alarm which is then received by Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Here, a trained Controller will listen in using the devices 2- way audio capabilities, and if deemed necessary, send professional help. Due to being BS 8484:2016 accredited, Controllers within the ARC have direct access to police control rooms and are able to bypass the 999 systems, ensuring for quicker response times.
With a range of products, Guardian24 are here to cater for any type of employee who works alone. Click here to utilise our free trial offer, this way you can field test our solutions with your workforce before making your decision.