Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.*
The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
This year’s theme for 2023 is “A safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental principle and right at work”. The theme aims to focus on involving both employers and employees in prioritising their own health and safety, as well as those around them.
Emerging risks in the workplace
New and emerging occupational risks may be caused by technical innovation or by social or organizational change, such as:
- New technologies and production processes, e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology
- New working conditions, e.g. higher workloads, work intensification from downsizing, poor conditions associated with migration for work, jobs in the informal economy
- Emerging forms of employment, e.g. self-employment, outsourcing, temporary contracts
Employer & Employee roles and responsibilities
Health and safety at work form a huge part of your duty of care as an employer. It’s your job to protect your employees’ health, safety, and welfare which is why the day is recognised globally on the 28th of April.
The day encourages organisations to incorporate safety and health into workplace culture. To do this, managers, senior leaders and HR staff must join together in efforts to implement policies and procedures that work.
Where do you begin?
Below are some points to help you make the most of World Day for Safety & Health at Work this year.
1. Start the conversation
Let the day act as a springboard to kick start conversations around health and safety at work. Remember that health and safety at work covers a broad spectrum of topics, from stress and mental health issues to physical injury and adequate protection.
The types of conversations you hold will be dependent upon the industry or sector your organisation falls into. If you work in an office environment, your focus might be on how to tackle stress. For construction companies, your main concern might be ensuring workers are always wearing PPE.
When you’ve settled on what’s most important, try to get the ball rolling
2. Consider physical and mental health
It’s your job to protect your people from harm whilst working. Many risks could threaten an employee’s health at work. These risks can threaten both physical and mental health. And while these mental health risks might not always be as easy to spot as the physical ones, they are still just as important.
Mental health issues cost UK employers £7.9 billion per year. Costs rack up due to absences, low productivity, and poor morale. Impacts like these can be detrimental to your people and your organisation. That’s why any step you can make to improve workplace mental health is a positive one.
3. Revisit your risk assessment
Risk assessments can quickly become outdated due to changing work environments, procedures, and equipment. So it’s essential to revisit your risk assessment regularly or when you think it might be necessary.
Safety First can help!
We offer a wide variety of Compliance Solutions and everything we do is driven by our belief that safety always comes first, our services include:
– Occupational Hygiene
– Legionella Control
– Health & Safety Assessments
– Occupational Exposure
– Air Quality Management
– Lighting Surveys
– Arm/Body Vibration Assessments
– Health & Safety Training
– PPE & Protective Equipment
This list is not exhaustive but an example of some of the workplace safety services we can offer.
Our friendly and qualified technicians are on hand to answer any questions you have about Health & Safety in the workplace. You can call us on 0845 004 2133, or catch us via email at email@example.com.