Author Bio ▼

Dr Karen McDonnell is head of RoSPA Scotland & Occupational Health and Safety Policy Adviser. She is also the immediate past president of IOSH.
July 1, 2020

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Re-focussing on accidents that don’t need to happen

As the return to work continues and businesses focus on being COVID Secure, Dr Karen McDonnell, Head of RoSPA Scotland, reminds us that none of the risks inherent in construction have vanished and should not be forgotten about.

vintage radioRecently, I was reminiscing with a friend about the importance of hearing the music charts on a weekly basis, and what was fresh and new music-wise over our lives, whether on a tiny transistor radio under the pillow listening to Radio Luxembourg, or a Sunday night with the tape recorder trying to capture the music without the commentary from the DJ. (I might be showing my age here!)

The technology may have changed, but each generation has its life-defining sound track almost unique to itself and less relevant to older or younger people.

Then there are music icons that span the generations, with ‘new’ people hearing ‘old’ music that sparks nostalgia, while the race to number one for emerging talent is ever present.

Throughout my working life I have had daily updates on generations of ‘new’ people having ‘old’ accidents, a race to number one where nobody really wins.

Top 10 accident risks in construction

As the return to work continues and businesses focus on being COVID Secure, let’s not forget the ‘construction top 10’:

I recommend a pause as you bring people back to work. There has been significant break in many working lives during lockdown, and workplaces have altered to accommodate government guidance on reducing the potential for spread. But despite this, none of the risks inherent in construction have vanished.

How are you rebuilding your people?

Factoring their potentially depleted mental health and personal resilience into a safe and healthy return is essential, as is ensuring situational awareness is re-established at fore-front of their minds.

Make sure you put people at the heart of your business, as their individual sustainability is essential for your organisation to thrive.

This top 10 list is not exhaustive or based on statistics, but behind each fatality, serious injury or case of occupational disease, there is a family, co-workers and community.

Quite simply, they don’t have to happen.

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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Nigel Dupree
Nigel Dupree
3 years ago

Ditto – just the same for user operators of predictably high risk office based equipment where operator – equipment ergonomics has been sub-optimal without sufficient operator training on mitigation of foreseeable hazards from induction onwards. The last thing we need following C-19 is to follow the US trending tsunami of ADA disability claims from DSE operators working from home just as we come out of the most devastating commercial and public health disaster since, fill in the gap yourself ! Without the knowledge of “How To” make adjustment / adaptations to reduce the risk of eye-strain and repetitive stress injuries,… Read more »