News

HSE releases workplace fatality figures for 2020/21

A total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, which is a 26% increase (29 deaths) from the previous year, newly released HSE figures show.

However, the number of fatalities has remained level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years from 2016/17 to 2020/21 is 136, putting this year’s numbers slightly above average.

The most common cause of fatal injuries continues to be falls from height (35), followed by being struck by a moving vehicle (25) and being struck by a moving object (17), which all account for more than half of the fatalities.

One notable finding was the disproportionate risks to older workers; with around 30% (41) of fatal injuries involving workers aged 60+, even though they only make up around 11% of the workforce.

In another finding, 38% of worker fatal injuries were to self-employed workers even though they only make up 16% of workers. In comparison, the proportion of fatal injuries to self-employed workers is higher in 2020/21 than in the 5-year period from 2016/17 to 2020/21, where 31% of fatal injuries were to self-employed workers.

A more positive finding saw a 43% decrease in workplace fatal injuries to members of the public as a result of a work-related incident, with 60 fatalities in 2020/21 compared to 106 in 2019/20.


Sources

HSE (2021) ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2021’. Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf (accessed: 13/07/2021)

HSE (2021) ‘HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures for 2020/21’. Available at: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2021/07/07/hse-releases-annual-workplace-fatality-figures-for-2020-21/ (accessed: 13/07/2021)

Lateral Flow Testing facility now available on Smartlog®

With the majority of schools and colleges in the UK returning to in-person learning on 8 March – and following many requests from school leaders and safety officials; we have now added the ability to record and report on COVID-19 lateral flow testing within Smartlog.

Similar to the Track and Trace facility that we added last September, the basic breakdown is the following:

  • A unique QR code (and link) is available to all organisations.
  • When the code is scanned (or the link is followed), the user is presented with a simple form to complete.
  • If a user enters a positive test result, the Admin will be sent an email notification.
  • Users do not have to be logged in to Smartlog to view and complete this form.

For current Smartlog 5 customers, the Lateral Flow Testing facility is accessible completely free of charge, along with unlimited access to our brand new Fire Risk Assessment TemplateCOVID-19 Track and Trace facility, and many other existing features.

To book a demo of the new facility for your organisation or to request more information about Smartlog, visit our contact page or send us your query to info@safesmart.co.uk

Our Christmas Operating Hours

The Safesmart team would like to wish all our customers and their families a very Merry Christmas. After a difficult and challenging 2020, we hope that you all enjoy a happy new year.

For the Christmas holiday period, our office operating hours will be as following:

Closed from: Wednesday 23 December, 5.30 PM
Opening on: Monday 4 January, 9 AM.

During this period, our telephone number will be out-of-hours and all mailboxes will be monitored periodically.

We would once again like to thank our customers for their support during this challenging year.

Best wishes, 
The Safesmart Team

HSE 2019/20 health & safety at work statistics: The 5 key takeaways

The HSE have released the annual health and safety figures for the year 2019/2020, and here are the 5 key takeaways.

Please note that this report falls largely outside the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public life (the first nationwide lockdown began 23rd March). Therefore findings should not be mainly attributed as to being the results of the pandemic.

1. Worker stress, depression or anxiety cases are up 37% from last year:

The cases for new and long-standing illnesses last year totalled 1.35 million, and this year’s figure is up a significant 21% to 1.63 million.

However, the most significant news: stress, depression or anxiety cases have gone up by a worrying 37% and are now the primary illness type (51%) of all new and long-standing illness cases (they made up 45% of cases last year). Stress, depression or anxiety are also responsible for an estimated 17.9 million working days lost this year – a massive increase of 40% from last year.

Overall, working days lost due to illness have gone up by 9 million (a 39% increase) from last year to 32.5 million – the highest number since 2001/02.

However, the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases (480,000) fell by around 18,000 cases compared to 18/19, although new incidents were 14,000 more than last year.

2. Infectious disease cases had not increased by the end of March:

In the latest Labour Force Survey, work-related infectious disease (virus, bacteria) incidents remain unchanged from last year at around 24,000 cases, below the 2017 to 2019 3-year average of just over 30,000 cases. It must be noted again that the survey only relates to ill-health cases during the 12-month period before March this year.

However with the first COVID-19 case in the UK confirmed on 31 January, this is a notable finding.

3. Workplace fatalities reached a record low:

There were 111 worker (or employees/self-employed) fatalities in 19/20 – the lowest figure ever reported by RIDDOR since records began in 1974. The rate of fatal injuries also fell to a record low of 0.34 per 100,000 workers.

Whilst falls from height remain the biggest cause of death to workers (26%), the overall fall in fatalities continues an ongoing positive downward trend.

4. There are less serious injuries occurring at work, but more people are getting injured:

This year there were 4,937 less non-fatal injuries than last year for the lowest recorded figure from RIDDOR since 1985. Slips, trips or falls remain the biggest cause of RIDDOR reported injuries (29%).

However, this contrasts with Labour Force Survey statistics reporting 112,000 more non-fatal workplace injuries than last year, reaching the highest figure since 2010/11 with an estimated 693,000 cases this year.

Additionally, an estimated 6.3 million days were lost due to workplace injury – an increase of 1.6 million (34%) from last year.

This means that an estimated 38.8 million working days this year were lost due to work-related ill-health and non-fatal injuries; of which, at 10.6 million days more than 2018/19 is the largest single-year change on record.

5. HSE notices, prosecutions and fines fell significantly this year

2019/20 saw a 21% fall in notices issued by enforcing bodies, a 13% & 12% drop in prosecutions & convictions respectively by the HSE (and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland), and a 34% drop in fines.

The construction industry remained the sector with the most convictions (42% of all convictions), but manufacturing organisations were responsible for 45% of all fines received (£16 million) whilst only responsible for 27% of convictions.


Bibliography

HSE (2020) ‘Health and safety statistics’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/ (accessed: 24/11/2020)

HSE (2020) ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2020’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf (accessed: 24/11/2020)

HSE (2020) ‘Kinds of accident statistics in Great Britain, 2020’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/kinds-of-accident.pdf (accessed: 24/11/2020)

HSE (2020) ‘Historical picture statistics in Great Britain, 2020 – trends in work-related ill health and workplace injury’. Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/history/historical-picture.pdf (accessed: 24/11/2020)

HSE (2020) ‘Enforcement statistics in Great Britain, 2020’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/enforcement.pdf

HSE (2020) ‘LFS – Labour Force Survey – Self-reported work-related ill health and workplace injuries: Index of LFS tables’. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm#illness (accessed: 24/11/2020)

HSE (2020) Potential impact of COVID-19 on HSE’s main statistical data sources in 2019/20 https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/adhoc-analysis/covid19-impact19-20.pdf (accessed 24/11/2020)

Document Library facility now available on Smartlog®

As today marks the beginning of a month-long lockdown, and for some, the return to homeworking, we are very pleased to announce the brand-new release of a Document Library facility on Smartlog.

This new feature will allow for the easy storage, management and distribution of policies, procedures and other important files within your entire organisation — a crucial solution to digitalising your health and safety compliance during this tumultuous period for businesses and institutions everywhere.

Within this facility, users will be able to:

  • Share any important documents to specific locations, departments, person/s
  • Manage their document library centrally — a secure platform for employees to access important files when they need to
  • Set any documents to be distributed weekly, monthly, annually or any custom period of choice
  • Keep a closer eye on compliance with date and timestamped read-receipts — a read deadline of any length can be set, with an escalation feature for overdue assignments
  • Create qualifying questions to ‘pass’ or confirm that the assignment has been completed — from a simple confirmation to an in-depth assessment
  • Like other facilities on Smartlog, users can freely export reports for their own manual records if they wish.

For current Smartlog 5 customers, the Document Library is accessible completely free of charge*, along with unlimited access to our brand new Fire Risk Assessment Template, COVID-19 Track and Trace facility, and other exciting features that we have added in just the last few months.

*Included within existing annual licence price

To book a demo of the Document Library for your organisation or to request more information about Smartlog, visit our contact page or send us your query to info@safesmart.co.uk

Download the new Smartlog® iOS App

A new updated Smartlog® app for iOS devices is now available for free download on the App store. Operating only on devices running iOS 13.0 and above (iPhone 6S and later models), the new release provides the following features: 

  • complete and sign off checks & tests offline
  • create, complete and review risk assessments offline
  • complete your e-learning (requires an internet connection)
  • view your organisation’s compliance across all areas
  • submit log entries offline
  • full access to the accident reporting facility — report or view accident & incident submissions
  • asset management — manually scan & review your inventory, and action outstanding certification

The app takes full advantage of the technological capabilities of smartphone and tablet devices in order to enhance the use of Smartlog, with barcode scanning via camera and NFC support in the asset management facility, and the ability to attach media more seamlessly within the risk assessment and accident reporting facilities.

The previous iOS app is no longer appearing on the App store or receiving development updates, so users are recommended to uninstall the old one and replace it with the new up-to-date release as soon as possible.

To download the app, click here or find it listed as ‘Smartlog by Safesmart’ in the App Store

Safesmart becomes UK Government G-Cloud 12 supplier

We are pleased to announce that Safesmart has become a G-Cloud 12 supplier, supplying the health & safety compliance management cloud-hosted software Smartlog® to the public sector through the UK Government’s framework.

The G-Cloud initiative, which began in 2012, was set up to ease the procurement process of cloud-affiliated technological services by public sector bodies — which includes central government, local government and emergency services departments.

The G-Cloud framework is operated by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), and Smartlog is now listed and supplied on the Digital Marketplace under the ‘Cloud software’ category: “Applications that are accessed over the internet and hosted in the cloud.

New: Fire Risk Assessment Template

After months of hard work by our Professional Services and Smartlog Development team, we are pleased and excited to announce that we are launching our new fire risk assessment template.

We have added some new features and changes, including:

  • Risk rating
  • Real-time compliance pie chart
  • Design and layout has been updated
  • Additional information to support the HSE 5-step risk assessment process
  • Fire Service access
  • Creation of actions — check & test
  • Add a site plan
  • Improved PDF layout when exporting/printing

The new template is based on the PAS 79 (Publicly Available Specification-79) methodology for undertaking a fire risk assessment to identify the risk of fire and the consequences if one was to occur.

PAS 79 was produced by the British Standards Institute and is recommended by the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Northern Ireland Fire Safety Panel.

If you have arranged a fire risk assessment to be completed by one of our fire risk assessors, they will be now be using the new fire risk assessment (unless your organisation has a bespoke template).

If you have any questions, or would like to activate the new fire risk assessment now, please contact your Account Manager, and they will be happy to assist you.

New Smartlog® Feature: ‘Track & Trace’

As more people return to workplaces amidst tightening social restrictions and the looming possibility of a second wave of infections, organisations are under pressure to maintain – or increase their safety measures in order to reduce infections and prevent a potential second lockdown.

One of these measures is the implementation of an effective ‘Track and Trace’ system in order to isolate any cases, prompt the self-isolation of any potentially infected individuals and prevent the further spreading of the virus – which is especially important in a medium or large organisation with many people.

To assist our customers – especially those in the education sector, we have now released a Track and Trace facility on Smartlog. Visitors to your organisation can quickly scan in to a selected location and submit their contact details, with no login needed.

In the event that any individuals need to be contacted, records are available for a GDPR-compliant 21 days before they are automatically removed from the system.

In order to learn more about this new feature or request a phone or web demo from a member of our team, contact our customer services team on:

customerservices@safesmart.co.uk or call us on 01908 320152.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Resources

More information about our COVID-19 eLearning course can be found here: https://safesmart.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-awareness/

As industries slowly re-open and schools & businesses resume operations, it is of utmost priority to ensure that work premises of all types are risk assessed for COVID-19, necessary control measures are applied, and all employees are fully trained on minimizing the transmission of the coronavirus.

Brand New Courses

In order to help our customers navigate through the health & safety challenges which the COVID-19 pandemic presents – and its legal & practical impact on key business functions, Safesmart has created a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Awareness training course utilising the latest information available from Public Health England, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the NHS and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

This course provides information about the following practical measures that can be implemented by businesses – if necessary:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Hand sanitizer/disinfectant
  • Temperature checking
  • Clear Signage
  • Working from home
  • Social distancing/restricting numbers

A Safe Working from Home eLearning course is also available to help protect against the dangers associated with DSE for those employees working from home.

Re-opening Schools

Along with a separate COVID-19 eLearning course for educational institutions, an in-depth COVID-19 Risk Assessment Checklist has also been created to ensure that schools and colleges re-open as safely as possible – and within government guidelines.

Safesmart to launch £50,000 school kit sponsorship grant

Last summer, Milton Keynes won its bid to be named as a European City of Sport for 2020 – awarded by the European Cities and Capitals of Sport Federation (ACES Europe); and to celebrate this achievement, Safesmart is launching a school kit sponsorship grant worth £50,000 over the next decade.

The sponsorship grant will be open exclusively to all schools that are Safesmart customers using the health and safety compliance software Smartlog; with Milton Keynes local St Mary and St Giles Church of England School becoming the first official recipient of the award.

Headteacher Kate Holland said:

“We are delighted that a local business has so kindly chosen to sponsor our football team. We are extremely grateful for Safesmart’s support.”

Also adding:

“With school budgets becoming tighter, this sort of support goes a long way in encouraging all to succeed in sport.”

All schools which use Smartlog for their health and safety compliance will be eligible to apply directly for the grant a maximum of once each per year, with each successful individual award being worth up to £500.

The formal application process will open in April 2020, with successful recipients being announced before the school summer holidays.

Last Week in Health and Safety

Color, Egg, Broken

A quick round-up of the biggest health and safety stories from the week commencing 18th November 2019:

A ‘No-light’ Christmas in Penbury

Last week Kent County Council refused to issue a Christmas lights permit for Penbury because the planned lights and decorations are twice as heavy as the lamp posts can safely hold. This last minute decision by the council has left no room for alternative arrangements. Full story here.


Egg production company ordered to shell out over £60,000 in fines

A Lancashire egg production company was fined £60,000 by the HSE after a forklift overturned and seriously injured its driver.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards” said the HSE inspector, as Staveley’s Eggs Ltd were also ordered to pay costs of £4,259.42. Full story here.


Combustible cladding concerns could involve ‘more than 100,000 buildings’

According to Inside Housing, minutes from a September meeting between representatives of London boroughs and government officials revealed that reducing the official high-rise building threshold from 18-metres to 11-metres would raise the amount of buildings under scrutiny from just 12,000 to over 100,000. Full story here.

COVID-19 Update: Professional Services

As this week marks a month of national lockdown – Britain’s third since 23 March last year, there remains uncertainty about a timeline for the lifting of restrictions.

The government has not yet made any clear indications for industries classed as ‘non-essential’ in the private sector about re-opening dates. However, schools have received more clarity, with the youngest pupils in Scotland set to return to classes full-time from 22 February and England hoping to bring back pupils from 8 March.

Whilst schools have not been completely shut to all pupils during the on-going pandemic; just like in September last year, re-opening will carry several health & safety challenges as temporarily abandoned facilities and buildings will need to be assessed for safety before being re-utilised to accommodate the increase of staff and pupil numbers.

Professional Services Availability: Site Visits

Per Government guidelines, our team continue to work remotely and remaining accessible by telephone, Zoom, MS Teams and email. However, our risk assessors are available for site visits nationwide to ensure that risk assessments remain up-to-date even while businesses and institutions remain temporarily closed.

We are still taking bookings for the following professional services:

COVID-19 Resources

Regarding a COVID-19 Risk Assessment, the HSE state that:

“As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it’ll help you manage risk and protect people.”

We released the following resources last summer, which can all be accessed through Smartlog:

If you wish to access any of these resources, or for more information, fill in our contact form, get in touch with our customer services team on 01908 320152 or send us an email to: customerservices@safesmart.co.uk with your request.