While workplace injuries are responsible for around seven million lost working days each year, it is estimated that non-work injuries are responsible for around three times that number – and that doesn’t include the days lost to care for injured relatives and children.
With that in mind, we look at the steps employers can take to help keep their staff safe when they’re outside the workplace…
For the last 40 years, RoSPA has led the campaign to help keep employees safe when they’re “off the job”, be it at home, on the road, or on holiday. This commitment to 24/7 safety is reflected with our most prestigious award, the Sir George Earle Trophy. Awarded for the most outstanding performance in health and safety by a company or organisation, recent winners have included world-class companies such as Foster Wheeler, Kelloggs, FMC Technologies and Trant Engineering. However, what really sets the award apart is that it seeks to recognise corporate health and safety effort which goes beyond the workplace and includes a focus on issues such as health education and home safety, as well as the prevention of accidents on the roads, on the water and while enjoying leisure pursuits.
While RoSPA has been promoting the importance of safety outside the workplace for decades, this mindset is increasingly being written in at the top level, forming part of a wider safety, health and wellbeing strategy, as well as becoming part of organisations’ wider CSR (corporate social responsibility) objectives. It’s not hard to see why. The effects of an injured member of staff are the same whether an employee is hurt in or out of work. Productivity suffers and costs increase as the employer has to recruit replacement staff or other colleagues to work overtime. Some knowledge-based tasks may have to be postponed until the employee is able to return to work. Nor is it only injuries to staff themselves that can have this negative impact on business. Accidents that take place in the home can mean parents and carers may have to be absent from work while taking children or elderly relatives to hospital or while nursing them back to recovery. With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that businesses around the world are waking up to the importance of protecting their employees and their families, even when they’re not in work.
We’ve had many positive conversations with employers who are keen to help their workers, and their families, stay safe outside of work, and we’re stepping up our activities in this area including through the current development of home safety focused falls prevention training to be delivered through workplaces in Scotland. We’re really excited about how initiatives like this are being received.
One of the most proactive things a forward-thinking business can do is to run their own Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD), empowering staff to take key safety messages into their homes, communities and beyond.
With accidents remaining the biggest killer of children and young people, focusing your SHAD on this area is a great place to start your 24/7 safety initiative.
What’s more, at RoSPA we have put together a range of family safety/home safety focused resources packages, providing you with posters, videos and activity sheets to give out on the day, as well as options to help you get the word out about the good work you’re doing. You can even arrange for a RoSPA speaker to come along to your workplace to give a presentation directly to your team!
With all this in mind, we’re looking to find a single phrase that helps summarise the importance of keeping your employees safe around the clock. We’ve had a bit of think, and we’d love to know which phrase you think is best… Alternatively, use the comments box below to let us know your suggestion if you think you have a better name that fits the bill!Take Our Poll