According to the HSE, 31.2 million working days were lost due to work related illness and workplace injury in 2016-17. Many accidents at work result in extended absence from work.
So how can you ensure the safety and health of your employees and ensure attendance remains high.
- Ensure your staff are knowledgeable and attend training in health and safety to reflect their responsibilities.
- Control the risks – you may already have measures in place to protect employees, ensure a framework of risk assessment is in place to record and review risks including asbestos (if applicable), fire, COSHH, working at height, manual handling, display screen equipment, lone working and security. Ensure all offices and public spaces including corridors are assessed for risks for the users of the equipment and building.
- Promote good housekeeping by all which not only aids safe evacuation and reduces slips, trips and falls but reduces the spread of diseases and makes everyone feel a bit better!
- Ensure staff record ‘near miss’ incidents and learn from them to prevent the real thing happening.
- Use information collected in return to work interviews to ensure any potential risk is managed. Could the absence be attributed to a problem at work or could work be contributing either physically or mentally to the wellbeing and attendance of employees?
- If third party contractors are responsible for services, ensure joint risk assessment procedures are in place with appropriate follow up action. Ensure contractors have safe systems of work and adequate documentation for the work they are undertaking.
The impact of an employee having an accident at work is extensive. Not only are you considering the affected employee’s welfare and their return to work, you may also have to cover the responsibilities of the employee which may impact on colleagues’ welfare and your staffing budget.
Use this day as a reminder to review your practice and ensure the workplace is safe and healthy for all with safe systems of work and allocated responsibilities to promote safe behaviour and prevent accidents at work.
We also have a free Health and Safety Briefing Session on Mental Health Awareness coming up on 15th May, which will look at:
- How stress in the workplace affects critical functions such as decision making
- The impact of stress on productivity, staff sickness and staff retention
- A step by step risk assessment as set out in the HSE Management Standards 2004
If you need any help managing long-term absence cases or Occupational Health, please speak to one of the team on 01924 827869. We also have a sister company, Staff Absence Management Ltd, or SAM as we call it, that is bespoke online absence management software. Take a look at SAM’s website for more information on how you could better manage absence, www.staffabsencemanagement.co.uk