Safety experts discuss the benefits of utilising technology in managing workplace health and safety risks.
In the session, Safety and Security Lead at IKEA, Michael McCallion, Associate Director of Occupational Health and Safety at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Bryan Joseph, Head of Health and Safety at HFT, Daniel Mossman, Chief Technical Officer at Riskex, James Sharp, and Fleet Safety Support Manager at GoVia Thameslink Railway, Andy Cordwell, discuss – aligning technology with emerging health and safety risks.
SHP Editor, Ian Hart, begins the debate by asking the panel how they have gone about ensuring their employees are engaging safely during the pandemic.
Michael argues that the first step to guaranteeing employee engagement is through removing the fear surrounding health and safety compliance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for those in charge of worker safety. Bryan goes on to discuss the trials he faced in attempting to safeguard both patients and staff at the peak of the pandemic, particularly those who were vulnerable. Bryan claims that technology played a significant part when it came to facing these challenges head-on and providing much-needed reassurance to patients.
What new risks have been particularly challenging to deal with?
Remote working most definitely has its benefits, however, as Bryan highlights, it has led to an increase in cases of Musculoskeletal Disorders. The pandemic has also, unsurprisingly, triggered an increase in the number of people battling stress and aggression.
Andy Fleet, Safety Support Manager at Thameslink, recalls how an un-proven case of an individual catching COVID through an air-conditioning system triggered a major potential risk for his business. Though there was no evidence to prove it, the organisation had to listen and act on employee concerns.
Another significant challenge the business faced was deciphering how tasks, normally carried out by multiple people, could be conducted in the safest way possible, with social distancing in mind. Michael claims IKEA had a similar issue, with home deliveries being an essential two-person job. Michael claims the business had to rethink every way they carried out manual handling and were aided by technology as a tool in creating risk assessments.
Technical Officer at Riskex, James, claims one of the most challenging aspects of managing risks during the pandemic was the fact that the complexity of hazards were everchanging. Ongoing alterations in terms of government guidance was difficult for the business to manage, so, within three weeks of the first lockdown, the organisation successfully created an online tool for clients to keep them constantly updated on government direction.
How has your organisation reacted to the news of mandatory COVID vaccines for healthcare professionals?
All panellists agree that their approach towards the news has been one of continuous support and engagement with no coercion on their part.
Michael argues that the best thing businesses can do is provide staff with clear facts to relieve any anxiety they may be feeling. Leaders need to understand that their workers may have previously been bombarded with an abundance of misinformation that ultimately impacted their initial decision, therefore, providing them with clear, concise information on the topic is crucial.
Want to find out more about how technology is aiding the alteration of the role of the health and safety professional? Watch the rest of the webinar on demand now…
Health and safety professionals have for many years, carried out a multi-disciplinary role. As with many roles that strongly rely on cross-functional working, the effective use of technology is critical to streamline processes, make data-driven decisions and ensure continual compliance with health and safety law and client contractual obligations.
This webinar is aimed at both Health and Safety Practitioners and Senior Management responsible for the safety and wellbeing of their employees and other stakeholders, across all industries and workplace settings. This webinar will provide delegates with the following insights:
How health and safety professionals have:
- Engaged employees in thinking and acting safely during the pandemic regardless of their workplace environment
- Leveraged technology to tackle the increased risks of remote working;
- Mobilised efficiently to maintain compliance and optimise safety performance as part of their return-to-work strategies.
The webinar will include contributions from a panel of health and safety leaders from a cross section of industries, who will share their views and experiences regarding how they have seen the risk landscape change in light of the pandemic and how they anticipate health and safety software will evolve to address emerging risks going forward.