Are offices ready for workers to return?
With the UK expected to move away from home working and return to the office in greater numbers during the Autumn months, National Accident Helpline is warning employers to ensure offices are safe and ready or run the risk of accidents happening in the workplace.
Recent data from National Accident Helpline highlights the importance of caution as people return to work as personal injury helpline saw a 15% increase in enquiries relating to injuries sustained in the workplace during June and July. Without action there’s a risk that injuries at work may reach pre-COVID levels, which were 115% higher than current trends.
Figures from Transport for London also reveal the first Monday of September saw a 22% increase in tube journeys and a 71% jump in bus passengers in London between 8am and 9am compared to the previous Tuesday. This sharp increase in commuters in the capital precedes expectations that autumn will see workers across the country return to the office in numbers not seen since the start of the pandemic in March last year.
National Accident Helpline also found that 48% of employer liability injury claims made this year were for slips and trips. This is backed up by data from RIDDOR* who found slips and trips are the second most common type of workplace accident in Great Britain, accounting for an estimated 19% of all work injuries.
To ensure that staff can return to the office safely and enjoy the benefits, National Accident Helpline are advising on the key areas that employers should think about. Such as conducting a full risk assessment of office spaces and ensuring any potential hazards are rectified before staff return full time. Other important steps to take are confirming staff know the health and safety rules, re-issuing office protocols and making everyone using the office aware of procedures before they return to desks.
Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, said: “The shift to home working could have made some employers reluctant to invest in office spaces and make necessary upgrades or refurbishments. This in turn may now put employees at risk as they return to the office. From loose or torn carpets to rotting floors there are a number of trip hazards that may have materialised during lockdown. All of these issues should be assessed before staff are welcomed back to the office.
“By following HSE protocols and ensuring that staff are aware of potential hazards when returning to the office employers can ensure that workplaces are safe and suitable for life returning to normal post lockdown.”
For more information please visit: https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/post/ensuring-safety-workplace