Safety trends: How to capitalise in your organisation
SHP caught up with Pamala Bobbitt, VP of Product Marketing at Cority to discuss some of the major safety trends and concerns practitioners may be facing over the coming months.
“All trends seem to be focusing towards safety culture, because of the benefits that it can bring at corporate level,” said Pamala. Senior staff within businesses are asking themselves, ‘how do we become better leaders?’ How do we become better at framing things better to people within out our organisation?’”
It’s a fair assumption that there are still a large number of companies which don’t have management systems in place, particularly amongst smaller or medium-sized companies. “It’s an interesting time,” said Pamala, “with everything fitting together to support ISO 45001.” So, having a sufficient management system in place to deal with the changes could be key.
Pamala also spoke of the need for effective communication and framing your programme to support the needs of your workforce. “Make sure the person you talking too understands the value to them of what you are presenting,” she added.
Investment in wellness
The Cost of absenteeism is astronomical and it’s on the rise. A report from Centre of Economic and Business Research, commissioned by workplace absence management specialists FirstCare, in 2017 stated that workplace absence is costing the UK economy £18bn in lost productivity. The analysis highlighted that workplace absence has increased year-on-year since 2011 – having previously been on a downward trend since 1993. It warned that the cost of absence will increase to £26bn in 2030.
Pamala suggests that a way to tackle this is by making sure that staff are not only healthy at work, but healthy at home. “Absenteeism is a big issue for Operations Manager’s in terms of productivity, especially in manufacturing because of the rise of risk. For instance, the trickle-down effect of people calling in sick. The support staff called in to replace those workers are likely to be less experienced, meaning they are more prone to error or will work more cautiously, which can effect productivity.”
Commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, Pamala said that when it comes to connectivity, “your employees are your first line of defence. It’s important to provide them with all that they need to be able to do their job. Taking information from all systems, making sense of it making it available to the people who need it, when they need.”
IT teams should be proactively looking to do this and streamlining it. “As a health & safety professional, how can you latch on these initiatives? Focus on talking about how you can help streamline the process using safety tech devices. With an understanding of what is going on, you are more able to tie the issue to those that have the budget.”
Pamala said that in the current economic climate, if practitioners are not tying programmes to these higher initiatives, health and safety is going to remain being considered as a cost-cutter. “It’s a critical couple of years for health & safety to be able to communicate its value to the organisation.”
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