Health and safety ‘a key priority in difficult economic times’
A workplace injury expert has called on employers to ensure that health and safety remains a priority, following a debate over the impact that the Lofstedt Review could have on working at height.
Safety and Health Practitioner recently reported on a Access Industry Forum-led event which saw experts from across industry and government meet to discuss how safety could be affected by conditions faced by many construction firms.
While the debate focused on the need for better communication in order to spread a safety message regarding working at height, some speakers raised concerns that the recession could have impacted on how firms are able to support workers.
Commenting on such concerns, Sally Rissbrook, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital that companies maintain a focus on safety despite the difficult times that many are facing.
She outlined: “The economic climate has hit many firms hard, but this should not mean that health and safety should be treated as a burden rather than a priority. Protecting workers safety is not just the right thing to do, but is good business. Many organisations now look at a company’s safety record when giving out contracts.
“Protecting workers, particularly when they are working at height, is absolutely essential to maintaining productivity and ensuring that projects can be completed. Avoidable work accidents often not only leave workers with long-term, life-changing injuries but cause much disruption in the workplace.
“Maintaining the highest possible level of health and safety through guidance, risk assessments, training and the provision of safety equipment plays a vital role in ensuring companies thrive as well as protect their employees.”
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