Today, organisations across the globe of all sizes and from all industries are being urged to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work will mark its 20th anniversary next year and was first launched by the International Labour Organization to raise awareness about the need to prevent workplace accidents and work-related diseases and ill health.
The theme of this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work focuses on acting together to build a positive safety and health culture.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work also coincides with International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers which has been organised worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.
Is World Day for Safety and Health at Work relevant to us?
Overall, the UK compares favourably with EU countries and many other places around the globe when it comes to health and safety standards but that does not mean that World Day for Safety and Health at Work isn’t still very relevant here.
Sadly, nearly 150 people died as a result of workplace accidents in Great Britain last year and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also revealed that during the same period 1.7 million workers suffered from work-related ill health.
The individual stories behind every single one of these statistics is heartbreaking for the people involved – particularly when you read the details of these cases and see just how many could have been avoided if health and safety procedures had been put in place and followed.
The consequences can also be catastrophic for businesses, employers and company managers.
As well as dealing with the distress that comes from seeing a colleague fatally injured or unwell, employers and managers may also be faced with prosecution if they are found to be in breach of health and safety law.
Companies can face crippling fines and company owners and managers may also be personally prosecuted and receive custodial sentences if they are found to have failed in their duties by the courts.
What should we do to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work?
If we really want to see more people returning home from work safe this coming year and fewer people suffering from work-related ill health we can start by making a difference this World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
If you know your organisation is struggling with areas of health and safety then raise the issue.
It doesn’t matter what your role at work is – health and safety shouldn’t just be left to bosses and managers – it is everyone’s responsibility to say if they see problems so they can be addressed.
If you are a worker and you know things aren’t happening correctly raise it with your boss.
You are looking out for their interests as much as you are looking out for yourself and your other colleagues because if a company is found to be in breach of health and safety laws it tends to be those higher up the scale who are prosecuted.
If you are a company owner or manager who doesn’t know where to start when it comes to managing health and safety there is plenty of help out there for you.
The HSE, for example, has a massive amount of material available on their website to educate companies about health and safety and it constantly reviews the information to make sure it is up to date.
It really is a fantastic resource however it also means that there really is no excuse for company owners not to get on top of their health and safety issues. The courts will not accept ignorance as an excuse if any health and safety failings come to light.
Where can I go for help?
Sadly, 97% of businesses will never reach full compliance with health and safety laws without help from experts.
It’s not their fault – they just don’t have the time or knowledge to be able to do it themselves but this does leave them open to the risk of injuries, ill health and prosecutions.
If organisations are struggling to get on top of their health and safety requirements in-house, we offer a wide range of services designed to take away their health and safety headache.
For example, Acorn offers a free health and safety review to organisations. During these reviews you can talk to John Crockett, who manages our award-winning team, and he will discuss and diagnose any current health and safety issues you may be having.
In addition, we offer a Retained Health and Safety Consultant Service to help business owners become health and safety compliant in the shortest time possible.
You can make this World Day for Safety and Health at Work the last day you worry about health and safety by getting in touch with us today.