In a survey of over 800 people, Manchester-based law firm Graham Coffey and Co. (https://www.gcoffey.co.uk/) found that almost one-third of respondents (29.25%) have never received health and safety training in their place of work.
Of those employees who reported they had received health and safety training at work, 31.86% reported that they had not received any training in the last year, meaning that, in total, 43.21% of all survey respondents had not received health and safety training in the last 12 months, if at all.
There are no legal requirements to provide health and safety training to employees unless they are at heightened risk of injury while carrying out their duties. Many companies provided additional training during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that both staff and customers remained safe but, as is clear from our survey results, some companies did not carry out training at all.
Below, Graham Coffey & Co detail the survey findings to highlight areas where more needs to be done to reduce the number of accidents in places of work and keep employees feeling safe and protected from preventable threats.
The survey of 803 British workers also found that accidents were more common than expected, with 169 (21.26%) reporting they have had an accident or sustained an injury in their place of work.
The most common types of accidents were slips, trips and falls, accounting for 34.52% of overall accidents, with cuts and lacerations in second place (15.48%) and muscle strain in third (14.29%).
If workers are at risk of muscle strain (for example, if their role involves heavy lifting), cuts (because they are using heavy machinery) or slips, trips and falls (because they work outside or on slippery surfaces), special health and safety training should be provided.
Employers must also make workers aware of their official procedures for dealing with an accident should one occur. Despite this, 166 people (20.75%) said they didn’t know whether their place of work has an accident book and 60 (7.5%) said that their workplace did not have an accident book. An accident book is a legal requirement for workplaces with more than 10 employees.
Stuart Snape, a partner at Graham Coffey and Co., said: “Clearly, the most important take-away from these survey results is that more training is needed for employees. Workers need to understand how to manage risk and avoid accidents, and businesses need to reinforce and follow correct procedures when responding to an accident.
“Employers should also carry out regular risk assessments to protect workers. When new equipment is introduced, they should ask whether employees need additional training to operate it safely.
“One-fifth of respondents to our survey reported that they had been involved in an accident at work, which is far too high. Burns, lacerations and injuries sustained from being struck by falling objects were all among those that had affected respondents, and are all preventable accidents. Businesses need to take better responsibility for the health and wellbeing of employees by preventing these types of accidents, which can result in serious and sometimes life-changing injuries.
More than half of survey respondents (61%) reported that they worked in an administrative or management capacity, suggesting that even employers in fields perceived as low-risk need to take care and carry out thorough risk assessments.”
“We were also surprised to discover that as many as 31.86% of respondents had never received health and safety training in their place of work. Under usual circumstances, perhaps these employees work in very low-risk environments, but the proliferation of COVID-19 over the last few years inspired many workplaces to take extra precautions. It’s surprising in this light that so many businesses still are not providing this type of training to employees who might benefit.”
To access the full results of the survey, please click use this link: https://www.gcoffey.co.uk/our-services/personal-injury-services/accidents-work/resources/accidents-work-survey-results-2022