Health & Safety is serious business. In 2020/2021 a total of 441,000 working people sustained an injury at work!

Helen Shoebridge from Omnicon shares her experiences of working in Health & Safety, and what agency owners can do to avoid injuries from happening in the first place.

The facts

In 2020/2021:

  • 142 workers were killed at work
  • 1,700,000 workers were suffering from work related ill health (new or long standing)
  • 800,000 workers were suffering from work related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long standing)
  • 93,000 workers were suffering from COVID-19 in 2020/21 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work (new or long-standing)
  • 500,000 workers were suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or longstanding) in 2020/21
  • 600,000 workers were suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (new or long-standing)

How is this possible?!

The legal side of Health & Safety

According to Helen, the law states that a Health & Safety policy is essential for every business. Recommending businesses with less than 5 employees to write one, even if they don’t need to.

“More than five employees, you have to write your policy down. Ensure that you’re sharing that policy and any changes to your employees as well.”

Now the big question is how do we start, and what needs to be in a policy?

Helen suggests starting with a risk assessment. Making sure you include activities such as fire, first aid, mental health, trips & falls, working at height, manual handling and much more.

“It’s your day-to-day office work. Any additional risk, anything else that you need to do to reduce the level of risk, then communicate that to your agency as well.”

Do you need a Health & Safety advisor?

Not at all, Helen recommends using simple tools that are also free! One recommendation she makes, and one she used before becoming agency based, is the form on the HSE website.

“I had 200 members of staff, and we used the paper-based system. I emailed it across, they completed it, sent it back with any comments. Then we worked through any issues that they might have.”

Did you enjoy this topic? If so, you’ll definitely enjoy our blog: How To Avoid Burnout

A picture of Helen Shoebridge

Helen Shoebridge Tech IOSH, Health & Safety Officer at Omnicom, is experienced in both corporate Health and Safety and also in an agency.

She has over 14 years experience in Health and Safety and Facilities Management.

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