Each month we provide an update on the expected activity of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as well as highlighting some key statistics and prosecutions from the previous month.
How are you managing stress at work?
While the HSE continues to keep the pressure on employers with Covid-Secure spot checks and inspections, they have also placed a significant focus on the impact of work-related stress. This has been particularly relevant since the pandemic began, which has led to the introduction of new stress management tools from the HSE.
According to their research, stress, depression, and anxiety make up 51% of all work-related ill health cases, with 55% of all working days lost being due to work-related ill health. These eye-opening statistics are strengthened by the fact that work-related stress is never limited to specific jobs or sectors. It is a real issue for anyone in any workplace, which is why businesses must take extra care to protect their people from its effects.
Employers are required by law to produce a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for their workplace, in which both physical and mental risks must be covered. With the help of the HSE’s new stress management tools, you can take steps to ensure that stress has been adequately considered in your risk assessments. There are also a range of toolkits, workbooks, and posters available, each offering encouragement to raise awareness towards stress and start the conversation about how to address it.
£1million in fines and three prison sentences
Prosecutions in April covered separate incidents involving two fatalities and 10 major life changing injuries or illnesses. These prosecutions led to fines exceeding £1million and three prison sentences spanning a combined total of three years. Each of these prison sentences were related to unsafe acts and conditions where no injury was sustained, demonstrating that severe penalties can be issued based upon potential for harm alone.
Commonly identified issues across April’s cases include:
- Unsuitable risk assessments
- Unsafe systems of work
- Poor training
- Inadequate protective measures, including barriers and guarding
- Insufficient supervision
Have you appointed a competent person for health and safety with the right amount of knowledge and experience? Are you confident that your risk assessments suitable and sufficient?
AHR Consultants can act as your competent person, provide onsite risk assessments, and deliver training, each helping you to prevent accidents and establish suitable evidence of your business’ precautionary efforts. With our extensive range of training courses, you can be confident that your employees have the knowledge to do their jobs safely.