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Stuart O'Brien

Do you specialise in Incident Reporting? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Health & Safety Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in April we’ll be focussing on Incident Reporting.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help health & safety buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Incident Reporting solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Charlotte Povey on c.povey@forumevents.co.uk.

Our Features List in full:-

AprIncident Reporting
MayContractor Management
JunSite Safety
JulLone Worker Safety & Equipment
AugFire Safety Management
SepRisk Management/Assessments
OctStress Management
NovOccupational Health & Wellbeing Services
DecHealth & Safety Software

Two-thirds of employers feel a greater responsibility for the mental wellbeing of staff as a result of Covid-19

Employers feel a greater responsibility for supporting staff across the four key areas of mental, physical, social, and financial wellbeing as a result of Covid-19.

That’s according to research from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector – in a study conducted from 14 – 26 January 2022 amongst 501 HR decision-makers, it found that:

·       59% of employers felt an increased responsibility for supporting the mental wellbeing of staff

·       57% felt the same increased responsibility for physical wellbeing

·       56% of employers felt an increased responsibility for supporting the social wellbeing of staff

·       and 50% also felt the same increased responsibility for their employees’ financial wellbeing

In light of the pandemic, and this sentiment to take greater responsibility for employee wellbeing, two fifths (40%) of employers increased their communication about the support available to staff. Thirty-four per cent encouraged engagement and utilisation of support, and just over a quarter (27%) said that they had made it easier for employees to access support and benefits remotely, such as via apps and online. A quarter extended support beyond the individual employee to include family members, and 22% invested in new employee benefits to provide extra support.

Employees report deterioration in wellness

Further GRiD research, conducted amongst 1,212 UK workers between 14-18 January 2022, highlights the fact that employers were correct to take steps to provide and communicate support and benefits to staff. Thirty-eight percent of employees stated that their mental health had deteriorated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, 27% saw their physical health deteriorate and a further 27% had concerns about their financial health.

Forty-two percent of employees expect more support from their employers to help them cope. This employee presumption means employers need to assess whether their current employee benefits are up to the task of getting the wellbeing of staff back on track. Many staff are anticipating that their employers will provide on this front, and employers would do well to deliver, particularly in light of how employees feel their health has deteriorated .

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: “As is evident in the research, employees feel most vulnerable in terms of their mental wellbeing, and employers have rightly assessed this as being an area in which they can step up and take more responsibility. However, employers should be wary of solely prioritising one area of wellbeing over another.

Mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing are inextricably linked and so employers must address all four areas when providing post-pandemic support for staff. Employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness have proven really popular because they provide financial support when people have been directly affected by the pandemic, as well as extra embedded services designed to support health and wellbeing. 

“As the UK adjusts to the new norms of working life, adopting this holistic approach to staff wellbeing will ensure that all employees are as well-looked after as possible, and this will have long-term benefits for the business too.”

How to support new employees’ holistic health this National Careers Week

By Cheryl McKown, Apprenticeship and Graduate Senior Manager for Bupa Global & UK

A tumultuous 24 months has led many people to think carefully about their careers and many are now looking for a change in career or a new role that will be fulfilling and rewarding. 

New starters benefit businesses, as they bring fresh perspectives and up to date industry insights, and successful placements can lead to productive, long-term working relationships. So how can businesses ensure that they are fully supporting their new recruits to stay happy, healthy and motivated?

Create supportive networks
Helping your new starter to grow into your team starts with getting to know them. It’s important to embrace what makes them different and in doing this, you’ll create an environment where everyone is encouraged to be themselves. 

Think about ways you can help new people bond and collaborate with others at their level – for example, you could create a buddy or mentor system, connecting new starters with those who have a little more experience, as well as providing access to dedicated online forums and channels.

Employees who feel that their organisation takes an active interest in their wellbeing are more likely to stay motivated, engaged and loyal. Think about arranging informal get-togethers, either virtually or in person to help them to feel part of the team from the off.

Encourage a good work-life balance
Particularly at first, some people may find a new role challenging and time consuming as they get to know the ins and outs of the business.

Instil good time management skills by working together with your new starter to plan how they’ll manage their time. In getting to know them, you’ll get an idea of how they use their free time and what a good work-life balance looks like for them. 

Work-life balance is really important in protecting against things like burn out, anxiety and stress, so make sure your people are also building in time let off steam and recharge.

Some people love yoga, others prefer to hit the gym and some might find cooking or crafts help them relax. Getting enough sleep is also crucial.

Embrace diversity
As well as celebrating individualism, embracing those from different demographics and with different cognitive styles helps to open the floor to ideas from all employees at all levels. This can harness insightful views from a range of backgrounds, leading to a wider understanding of what your business offers and can provide, from a diverse mindset.

If your new starter is from a background that’s not yet well represented across the rest of your organisation, think about how you can specifically support them so that they feel comfortable and included. 

At Bupa Global & UK, we launched the ‘Be You at Bupa’ commitment to reiterate that everyone in our business – from all backgrounds – can feel comfortable bringing their whole self to work every day. By celebrating and supporting people’s differences, we aim to promote collaboration, encouraging everyone to feel comfortable working here.

Feedback is key
Taking the time to check in with your new starter can go a long way to helping them feel listened to and appreciated, which can foster better wellbeing and company loyalty. Additionally, an open-door approach can help people to feel psychologically safe approaching you with any queries or concerns about their learning.

A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ goes a long way to boosting employees’ feeling of worth. Feeling properly rewarded for workplace efforts helps to boost mental wellbeing and decrease stress.

Regular appraisals or one-to-one sessions give you and your employee the chance to speak freely, helping you to gauge what they are enjoying and make any adjustments to help them enjoy their role more. As well as listening to them, these check-ins provide the chance to provide any constructive feedback, too.

Promote good all-round health
If you introduce your new starter to a workplace culture that places value on the benefits of being honest and open about both mental and physical help, they’re more likely to follow suit and feel confident to put their health first if they ever need to.

Promoting a positive culture like this will encourage your new team member – as well as the rest of your team – to bring their full self to work. Finding out what makes your people tick can help you to understand them better, spot any signs that they need further support, and generate an inclusive team spirit with increased productivity.

You can help to further support your employees by ensuring that they’ve got access to employee wellbeing services, like Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), GP appointments or health assessments.

Occupational Safety & Health Forum: Register today for the next event

The next Occupational Safety & Health Forum will take place on January 31st next year – Free delegate places are already being snapped up following this year’s oversubscribed event, so claim yours today!

Benefits include:

– An itinerary of one-to-one meetings with solution providers
– A seat at our industry seminar sessions (included within your itinerary)
– Lunch and refreshments are complimentary throughout
– Networking breaks to make new connections in your field

Attending buyers at the recent 2022 event included;

Astley Signs 
Avison Young
BT
DWF Law LLP
Fidelity International
Inside Out Developments LTD
KMPG
L3Harris
Modulous
Molsoncoors Beverage Company
NatWest
Openreach
PVC Manufacturers
Soilfix Limited
William Grant & Sons
Willmott Dixon Holdings
HSQE Manager 
H&S Manager 
Health & Safety Specialist  
Group HS&E Manager 
Global Health Safety and Sustainability Director 
HSE Advisor 
Head of Health and Safety
Business Support Manager
SHEQ Manager
Health & Safety Manager
H&S Manager
Head of Plant Safety
SHEQ Manaher
Director
Health & Safety Leader 
Chief HSE Officer

To register as one of our delegates, click here.

For more information and to secure your place as a supplier, contact Clair Wyld on 01992 666724 / c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

Easily create compliant, safe and efficient workplaces

Complete solutions for all your workplace safety needs from just one partner? Meet Brady Safety Experts at Health and Safety Event 2022!

Every workplace accident generates cost, and potentially includes a severe human toll that impacts morale and productivity. Managing safety risks to prevent workplace accidents from happening is both a humane and an economically sound strategy to protect or even improve company profitability. Brady proposes a number of safety identification solutions to help reduce workplace risks for some of the most frequently occurring accident categories.

Brady will help you to easily create a compliant, safer and more efficient workplace with durable pipe markers, safety signs, CLP-labels and area marking. Align with European Union Directives and national legislation, prevent accidents by communicating important safety information when and where co-workers need to see it, and identify areas in line with 5S and lean manufacturing for more efficiency.

Don’t wait for delivery of safety signage! Print it yourself on demand!

Support your Go for zero programme by immediately adding safety signs or warnings whenever risks emerge in your workplace. Use a professional printer and safety sign software to quickly create the right signs that clearly communicate any risk or danger to your co-workers.

Discover Brady’s Sign and Label Printers >>

Whether you’re looking for GHS labels, arc flash labels, pipe markers or other workplace visuals, Brady provides a complete line of on-demand printing solutions that are designed to save you time. And unlike competitive offerings, every part of our printing solutions are designed to keep you running more efficiently. Here’s how:

  • Faster printing: No need to send artwork to a vendor and wait up to seven days – create and print your label with your custom words, languages and logos when you need it.
  • Less waste: The only complete solution on the market that includes labels, printers and software with print smart technology that work together to get from start to print in 30 seconds without any resizing, recalibrating or waste.
  • Full facility applications: You get more than 300 material options that are designed to last in even the toughest environments and meet the highest quality and testing standards

Visit Brady’s Stand: 4/N30 at Health and Safety Event 2022, Birmingham and take your opportunity to see various labelling solution in action, speak to our professionals and consult any of identification issues you face in your daily life or in upcoming projects.

BRADY Corporation

Wildmere Industrial Estate

Banbury, Oxon OX16 3JU

Tel: +44 (0) 1295 228 288

csuk@bradycorp.com

www.brady.co.uk

How can happy employees make for more productive workers?

The well-being of employees is crucial. Improper care for staff can impact their performance and can have harmful effects within a company. The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) conducted research in 2020 demonstrating that reduced labour activity can occur as a result of high stress. Case studies also showed that workplace wellness programmes can result in increased productivity.

So, producing strategies can benefit both the employees and businesses by ensuring that their needs are met. Here, we’ll explore some of the ways that businesses can safeguard their staff.

Implementing safety measures

There are many risks in workplaces, especially relating to physical safety. Between 2017-2018, it was reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that 1.4 million people suffered from work-related illnesses in the UK. As a result, the economy suffered a loss of £15 billion.

High quality working conditions are important to ensure the safety of employees, this includes regular monitoring of equipment. Damage to tools can reduce worker efficiency and could even risk injuring the employee. So it’s important that equipment checks are carried out on a routine basis.

Statistics from the HSE have revealed that between 2018-2021 the number of non-fatal injuries within the construction industry was an average of 61,000 each year. There were also 39 fatal injuries in 2020-2021. With the benefit of protecting staff, the business also can ensure that the site is allowing room for productivity so work is being completed with no issues.

Without physical safety checks there could be many dangerous situations – particularly in industries like construction. These circumstances can impact their health, so they may have to be absent from work. Not only would this affect the business, but it also could have harmful effects on the worker, causing stress from time off work. In 2020, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) discovered through case studies that 97% of construction industry professionals had reported high levels of stress. When the employee is eventually fit to work again an injury might have a lasting effect on work and lead to reduced productivity levels.

Recognising essential amenities

Several physical needs can have an impact on our mental state, which is why onsite toilet hire for e.g. construction workers is necessary. Providing employees with this reduces the likelihood of distraction and ensures that staff are comfortable and completing work to a high standard.

Water supply can be insufficient at times. Whether this be for hydration or cleanliness, this is essential to ensure that workers’ well-being is maintained. Especially in summer, dehydration among workers can lead to reduced productivity or illness. Making sure that employees are being cared for with suitable amenities ensures that they stay healthy in the workplace.

Acknowledging mental health issues

The physical well-being of workers is not the only area to consider, it is important to maintain their mental well-being too.

Monitoring workload can be a simple way to ensure that your employees’ mental well-being is not being negatively affected. Concerns over disciplinary action may cause individuals to hide their issues with work, which could lead to mental health issues. Working whilst ill and absent workers are two issues that annually cost the UK £73 billion. Improving staff well-being can reduce this by creating a comfortable working environment for employees to devote themselves to the company.

Simply encouraging workers to openly discuss their mental health can improve well-being significantly. Although some employees may feel anxious at the thought of revealing their issues, promoting awareness in the workplace can create a safer environment. This transparency can lead to open discussions to provide solutions and improved well-being.

Research by Forbes shows that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Feeling the benefits of a caring employer has a clear positive impact on productivity levels. The construction industry is known for lack of support for the workers, so applying support strategies may set an important example.

In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the need to improve the well-being of workers. However, there is always room for improvement, which in turn can positively impact both employees and the business. By implementing simple strategies to care for staff, companies could see an improvement in their business’ productivity.

Do you specialise in health & Safety Training Courses? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Health & Safety Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in March we’ll be focussing on Training Courses.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help health & safety buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Training Course solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Charlotte Povey on c.povey@forumevents.co.uk.

Our Features List in full:-

MarTraining Courses
AprIncident Reporting
MayContractor Management
JunSite Safety
JulLone Worker Safety & Equipment
AugFire Safety Management
SepRisk Management/Assessments
OctStress Management
NovOccupational Health & Wellbeing Services
DecHealth & Safety Software

Safety and Welfare: How to Prioritise Employees in the Workplace

We all want to feel safe in the workplace, both physically and mentally. Whether you manage a site or own your own business, both the safety and welfare of your team is paramount.

This article will explore some of the ways you can ensure that your workplace is an inviting space…

Steps to ensure health and safety 

Health and safety is one of the most important responsibilities of any manager or employer. These steps should then be followed and upheld by everyone in the workplace. Here are three key ways you can create a safe workplace for your staff.

Perform necessary risk assessments  

To ensure employees are safe in the workplace, businesses are required to perform risk assessments. This covers a number of concerns, from electrical safety to manual handling. If conducted properly, workers can be confident when completing their tasks that every effort has been made to ensure that they do not come into harm’s way. 

Depending on the nature of work and the roles of employees, some businesses may need to perform additional safety checks. For example, a corporation that requires workers to sit at a desk for more than one hour should perform workstation assessments. This will check the suitability of furniture and reduce discomfort for your staff.

Supply adequate training 

Risk assessments may be imperative, but this is only the first step in employee safety. It is a legal requirement for every business to thoroughly train its workers on health and safety guidelines. This training should cover particular training that is appropriate for each role, from manual handling guidelines to slips and trips. 

If you’re managing a large team, it can be difficult to train each member of staff at the same time. Online training courses are available and your company can even create their own. This solution will provide your employees with the specific knowledge to work safely that can be accessed with ease. 

Normalise taking time off for illnesses 

It makes great sense for businesses to maximise the potential of their employees. However, it is important that your employees feel comfortable enough to take time off work due to illness. It goes without saying, but if even one ill employee enters the workplace, this can affect the rest of your team.

The pandemic changed the way businesses operate in the UK, and sometimes your employees might work from their own homes. To this day, some offices require people to work from home, and this can lead to people feeling unable to take time off. So, managers should ensure workers feel comfortable asking for time off. To do this, communicate with the team and share your desires to put their health and safety at the forefront of the business.

Steps to improve wellbeing  

Everyone should find enjoyment in their job. Whether that comes from professional fulfilment, friendships, or a generous payment scheme, is irrelevant. Your employees’ welfare should never decline while at work. If you provide a friendly work environment, their wellbeing can actually improve. Here are three simple steps to achieve this. 

Mental health support 

In order to maintain workers’ wellbeing, it is important for businesses to provide mental health support. This can be something as simple as someone to talk to, such as mental health first aider. In comparison to a physical first aider, it is not a legal requirement to have a mental health first aider in the workplace. However, this is a good idea if your business is looking for ways to improve emotional welfare standards in your workforce.

A positive environment is beneficial in more ways than one. According to research by Warwick University, workers who are happy can be 12% more productive than those who are unhappy. This is not the main benefit of employee welfare, but it is another reason to train mental health first aiders. 

Provide a safe space to relax in 

In the UK, employees who work more than 6 hours are entitled to a break of at least 20 minutes. This can differ greatly depending on the employer and the length of shift worked. Regardless of whether the work is physically or mentally demanding, rest is imperative to employee welfare. 

With that in mind, it is important for businesses to provide a space where workers can gather during this break. If you manage a construction site, this might be a welfare unit that can be transported to a new location when necessary. In comparison, if you manage a hotel, there will likely be a breakroom that is stationed in the same place all year-round. Regardless, you can provide soft furnishings and amenities, such as a kettle and microwave, to facilitate relaxation. 

Encourage friendships with after-work events 

The world would be a lonely place without friends. Well, the same can apply to the workplace. In fact, a 2021 study found that 21% of people agree that workplace friendships have helped them overcome hardships at work. As an employer, you can encourage your workers to make friendships both during and after work. To do this, organise social events, such as pub quizzes or Christmas parties, so your workers can become familiar with each other out of office hours. 

These are some of the simple steps you can take to provide a safe space for your employees – and why stop here? There are lots of other safety precautions to take, and many more welfare boosters to create. Have an open conversation with the team to find out how you can make your workplace stand out from the rest. What will be your first step?

CASE STUDY: How to significantly improve safety when working at height

Read about the project of Scafftag at Bancroft, where working at height is much safer now thanks to status tagging system and lockout devices.

With 150 directly employed staff working on fast track fit-outs at any one time across the South East, health and safety has to be a priority for mechanical and electrical services company Bancroft. With increasing legislation and pressure for companies to achieve excellence in this area, Bancroft wanted to improve business performance through better management of its equipment in terms of safety, maintenance and location tracking.

The solution was a visual tagging system from equipment status management specialists, Scafftag – A Brady company. The wide range of Scafftag tagging systems makes the latest status of equipment clearly visible, where it is needed most. The tags are attached to each item of equipment providing specific details of inspections, maintenance work and asset ID number and location. Removing the insert from the holder means that any item of equipment can be instantly put into Do Not Use status. This extra level of protection allows managers and employees to make informed decisions rather than risk making assumptions.

Read the full Case study >>

SCAFFTAG – A Brady Company

Units 22-28, Atlantic Business Park

Hayes Lane, Sully, CF64 5AB

+44 (0)845 089 4060

www.scafftag.co.uk

Scotland air pollution ‘concerning’

The British Safety Council says it is concerned by data analysed by Friends of the Earth Scotland, which showed that air quality breached legal limits during 2021 in Glasgow despite traffic levels continuing to be lower due to Covid restrictions.

Peter McGettrick, Chairman of British Safety Council, said: “It’s concerning to see how air pollution levels in Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland rose again last year, having fallen back in 2020, and on Hope Street levels of Nitrogen Dioxide even broke the legal limit.

“It’s why I took to the streets of Glasgow in November during COP26 to show people the impact air pollution has on our health, and especially people whose work means they don’t get to choose the air they breathe.

“It is also why British Safety Council wants the UK Government to be ambitious when it sets new air quality targets later this year and match the World Health Organisation’s new and ambitious limits.”

British Safety Council says it has been campaigning since 2019 to raise awareness of the impact that air pollution can have on the health of outdoor workers.

One of the drivers of its campaign, Time to Breathe, has been the call for more and better data on how air pollution affects people such as outdoor workers. There is little research on the impact air pollution has on workers like street cleaners, refuse workers, traffic police, cycle couriers, construction or maintenance workers, newspaper sellers, gardeners, teachers or security guards working on busy roads.

For more on Time to Breathe, visit: https://britsafe.org/campaigns-policy/time-to-breathe-air-pollution-campaign/time-to-breathe/

You can read the analysis by Friends of the Earth Scotland here: https://foe.scot/press-release/pollution-levels-rebound-in-2021/