A survey across 36 European countries has shown that UK workers trust that their health and safety issues would be addressed by their employers once raised with them. The survey showed the UK scored the highest percentage of workers who said they were “very confident” that health & safety issues would not be ignored by their employer. The percentage for the UK was 71% against a European average of 40%.
However on the flip side the survey also found that the UK came in the bottom 10 countries for thinking that tackling health & safety issues would make organisations more competitive.
So we have to ask in the current economic climate does this mean that employees would rather not raise issues in case it had an adverse effect on jobs?
We have certainly found that when we have raised issues with employers, they mostly do take positive action and are keen to do what they can to keep their business safe. However at the same time some issues seem to have been tolerated by the employees rather than raise them with management.
This leads us to believe that the survey is pretty accurate. It shows that some work is needed on educating the workforce that health & safety should not be a barrier to the business.
In fact, what is needed is to promote that health & safety does not have to cost the earth; in reality using a sensible and proportionate approach to health & safety really is good for business. In our experience where health & safety is properly embraced it certainly can be seen to provide positive improvements in efficiency plus a positive impact on profits.