It’s one of those things isn’t – Health and Safety at work. Many organisations big and small pay lip service to it. Sure they have an ‘OH &S’ representative and they may have bought a laminate sign somewhere that can be nailed to the back of the kitchen door in the office – to make everyone feel good, and of course make themselves feel good in terms of compliance. Yes…we’ve ticked that box and can get on with doing other important things.
It is that topic that creates more rolling of the eyes than any other in a busy workplace! Do we have to have a health and safety talk, didn’t we have one last year? Countries around the world have been enacting more and more legislation every year, and with these changes often there is more responsibility placed on the Person Controlling the Business or Undertaking (PCBU). Directors and indeed line managers who can be seen as ‘officers’ of the company are increasingly being targeted as having a fiduciary responsibility for any incidents that occur on their watch. Following are a few links to government and professional bodies that are responsible for ensuring Worker safety.
I found the above extract from the 2019 UK govt stats quite fascinating - over half a million workers sustaining non- fatal injuries! I'm guessing that whilst they may have been non-fatal they would have non the less been pretty traumatic in many cases.
In most modern economies there is either a legislative or implied requirement that the 'Duty of Care' that employers owe to their Workers is something that cannot simply be glassed over when an incident occurs. Health & Safety is becoming more topical and increasingly more punitive for those in Senior Management the world over.
It doesn't matter whether your business is a multinational, or one that employs just a few people, when an incident happens on a work site the world is increasingly moving towards legislative and punitive remedies to make sure businesses get their act together. If you haven't already put in place some robust, audit-able and written Health & Safety policies and procedures...now might be the time to do so.