Health and safety in the workplace is a big deal, and it can cost companies thousands, if not millions of pounds each year in compensation claims. For
Health and safety in the workplace is a big deal, and it can cost companies thousands, if not millions of pounds each year in compensation claims. For companies, not only is this money that is wasted but for employees, it can be detrimental. Employees want to work somewhere safe, and organisations that are in the press for losing court appeals will not likely attract new workers.
Workplaces Should Provide Safety Workwear
All UK organisations have a responsibility to their employees to provide personal protective equipment for their staff. This includes everything from hard hats for construction workers to safety boots for home delivery drivers. There are many workwear safety providers available, including Engelbert Strauss, who have a great range of work boots for many different professions.
Many UK organisations have been fined for not providing this, therefore it is of upmost importance that employers purchase the right workwear for the job. There are many different work boots that have different features, depending on the job the worker is wearing them for. For example, gardeners who may use strimmers and other sharp objects may be best wearing safety wellingtons, but for those who will be lifting heavy objects, work boots with capped toes would be ideal for protection.
For those workers that spend the majority of their day outside, waterproof safety boots are a must to provide comfort and safety in one. Waterproof work boots are ideal for undemanding work both outdoors and indoors and come in a range of colours and sizes. They are made to be sustainable all while being extremely affordable for employers, especially those purchasing in bulk. If your business includes any work that may be stressful on the feet, view this range of safety boots.
UK Organisations That Have Lost Appeals
Poundstretcher is a large name across the UK. In December 2017, this giant chain lost an appeal in court regarding health and safety offences, totalling a bill of one million pounds at three of its stores. These claims could have easily been avoided with appropriate safety wear and more workers. Poundstretcher admitted to 24 breaches of health and safety legislation in the stores at Swindon, Newhaven, and Newbury.
These claims were made against overstocked store rooms which meant staff were at risk of injury, a lack of protection for new workers, and a lack of training in health and safety. Portsmouth Crown Court found the chain guilty and they were fined for their actions. The judge stated that the store managers were not able to cope with such pressures to get their stock onto the shelves as staffing levels were too low. Trying to save money, the store ended up losing a great amount, all by not following the law on health and safety.
Some of the specific allegations included employees that had not been trained for their role, risk assessments that had not been carried out, and the fact that protective clothing was never provided. This could have had devastating consequences for employees working in these stores. Poundstretcher has previously had 21 convictions already, all for similar health and safety issues.
What Can UK Organisations Do to Avoid This Happening to them?
Workplaces need to uphold health and safety practices at all times, and this should be paramount. Failure to do so can cost companies millions of pounds, as seen with Poundstretcher. For smaller businesses, this could mean bankruptcy, and therefore it is incredibly important that the health and safety at work law is followed. Employers need to know their role in keeping employees safe and should inform employees on their role too.
Health and safety training is mandatory and should be updated yearly. New starters should always be risk assessed and any employees with changing circumstances should also be risk assessed. This includes both pregnant women and new mothers. Any company that has more than five workers must have a health and safety policy in place and this should be written specifically for the risks in that particular workplace.
Although health and safety is a lot about protecting employees physically, their emotional and financial needs should always be considered by employers. Stress is a huge loss for many employers, with employees taking sick days for stress-related illnesses. For those in stressful and highly emotional jobs, such as health care or the police force, policies should be put in place for employees to be provided with support after a difficult encounter.
Poundstretcher would have never have had to pay out such a large amount if they had spent their money wisely on training their new employees and proving the correct workwear. It is always worth spending money on health and safety, as without doing so you are breaking the law and putting your workers at risk. Follow the law when it comes to health and safety and your workers will be happy and safe.