Safesmart will be exhibiting at the ISBL National Conference on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November 2021 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, and we will be situated at Stand 16.
Titled ‘SBPs: The architects of solutions – resourcefully leading change‘, this year’s conference will focus on what school business professionals need to consider to guarantee the most effective use of their resources, including personnel, to deliver the greatest opportunities for pupil progress and development.
Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November 2021
The Hilton Metropole NEC Pendigo Way Marston Green Birmingham B40 1PP
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
The HSE have released the annual health and safety figures for the year 2018/2019, and here are the key takeaways:
1. Work related ill-health cases are a mixed bag:
The cases for new and long-standing illnesses last year totalled 1.36 million; and this year’s figure is down ever so slightly (1.35 million); however work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases (498,000) are up from last year (470,000) by a large 28,000 cases.
Stress, depression or anxiety cases (which made up 44% of all illness cases last year and an almost identical 45% this year) are up by around 6,000 and are responsible for 54% of all working days lost due to illness this year. However, working days missed due to stress, depression or anxiety are 2.7 million less than last year; a significant improvement.
Overall, working days lost due to all work-related ill health are down by almost 3.5 million; however the annual total costs of illness to businesses (around £15 billion) has remained unchanged from last year.
2. Fatal injuries to workers have gone up:
In 2017/18 there were 141 worker fatalities and in 2018/19 the figure is
up to 147, which is the joint highest figure for 6 years but slightly lower (149)
than the ten-year average since 2009/10. However a downward trend still remains
overall, with the latest ten-year average a full 56% lower than the previous decade’s
average of 233 fatalities a year.
3. Workplace fatal injuries to members of the public have gone down:
Fatal injuries to members of the public have declined from last year,
with the latest figure of 92 the lowest since 1996 and well below the 1999 to 2019
twenty-year average of 322* fatalities. In Europe as a whole, the UK still retains
a lower workplace fatality rate than Germany, Italy, France and Spain – in fact
the UK three-year average rate for 2013-2015 was the lowest of all EU member
*Major changes in 2013/14 and 2015/16 to what is included in public
fatalities figures should be taken into account when interpreting these
4. Less people are getting injured at work:
This year there were 2,323 less non-fatal injuries than last year (69,208 injuries compared to last year’s figures of 71,531). This latest figure is the lowest recorded since 1985, and the rate of non-fatal injuries to workers has shown a long-term downward trend overall. As a result, 28.2 million working days this year were lost due to work-related ill-health and non-fatal injuries compared to 30.7 million days last year; a significant improvement.
5. The HSE prosecuted less cases this year
2017/18 saw 11,522 notices issued by enforcing bodies, 493 cases prosecuted (or referred to COPFS in Scotland) by the HSE, and £72.6 million in fines from such convictions; and 2018/19 saw slightly less issued notices (11,040), more than 120 less prosecutions (364) and £54.5 million in fines — £18.1 million less than last year. However, the average fine per case this year is similar to last year (£150,000 and £148,000 respectively), which indicates that the significant drop in fines is most likely a result of the fall in HSE prosecutions.
At the tail-end of July, Safesmart released an Asset Management system – the biggest update to Smartlog since the current version of Accident Reporting was introduced within the release of Smartlog 5 in September 2016.
Utilising an in-depth and interactive asset registering system and centralising compliance management are both desirable objectives for an organisation; especially in the education and healthcare sectors where regular government body inspections are carried out, and equipment, certificates and licenses have to be valid and up-to-date.
For no added cost to Smartlog customers, our Asset Management system achieves both the aforementioned objectives, providing vast monitoring capabilities in relation to overall compliance as well as asset value tracking – such as depreciation, damage, repair and item condemnation/write-off.
However because the management of assets/inventory does not consistently intersect with health & safety compliance, deficiencies within Asset Management will not be included in the ‘Checks & Tests’ facility on Smartlog – displayed separately instead within the Asset Management facility itself; but automated email alerts and hierarchical escalation remain.
Also featuring barcode scanning & tagging, media attachments, bulk asset uploading and one-button reporting; the facility has the capabilities and versatility to be utilised as a high-gear inventory control system or as a simple digital asset register.