Health and Safety in the Workplace

It’s been hard to avoid the tragic news regarding Alton Towers ride ‘The Smiler’ which crashed in early June 2015, trapping 16 people and seriously injuring four of them. The accident happened when the carriage of 16 riders ran into the back on an empty carriage, which was stationary on the tracks after being sent on a dummy run due to a technical fault earlier that day.

Merlin Entertainments’ Chief Executive, Nick Varney, has been quoted to say that the two carriages “should not have been on the same piece of track” and that the “unusual and very tragic” accident “technically should not have happened”.

Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into how and why the crash happened are ongoing, but what can be assumed is that those injured will be instructing lawyers to submit compensation claims and the entertainments group can expect the total pay out to stretch way above the £1 million mark.

With figures from the HSE stating 78,000 work related injuries were reported under RIDDOR in 2013/14 and the estimated cost of work related injuries and ill-health being around £14.2 billion, health and safety of both customers and employees is in the spotlight. So how can your company avoid damage to its reputation, lengthy investigations and costly pay outs?

First and foremost, it is recommended that your company appoints a competent person to meet your health and safety duties, as well as writing a health and safety policy to show your commitment to the matter. You also need to consider identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace; creating risk assessments and basic health and safety training ensures everybody is aware of their own duties and company expectations. Supplementary to this, you should also think about employers’ liability insurance, first aid, accidents and the facilities you provide.

The world of health and safety is often tarnished with the boring label, but by putting a few simple measures in place and ensuring you keep up to date, you can avoid lengthy litigation and hefty fines. RBHR are happy to provide guidance and support on all matters health and safety, from creating and implementing policies to providing training to staff.

For more information about the services we can offer please email or call 01935 411191.