Week Commencing 30/01/2023 – In The News

A third of employers fail to measure the impact of sickness on their business, research shows

woman with a cold blowing noseA third of employers are failing to record the impact sickness absence has on their business, research has shown.

Data by Group Risk Development (GRiD) shows that although 85% of employers record the sickness absence of their staff, only 63% measure the impact that employees’ sick leave has on their business.

GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector, said this may be due to the increase of hybrid working making it harder to measure.

The organisation has warned this hole in measurement means employers will fail to spot issues, make strategic changes to mitigate the impact sickness or prevent it in the first place.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “It’s surprising that some employers do not record absence at all, but concerning that so many don’t appreciate the benefit of understanding how staff absence affects their organisation.

“It is possible to manage sickness absence effectively, and prevention is always better than cure.

“No matter how an organisation records and manages its staff absences, one thing that unites all employers is the need to reduce staff sick days and in turn reduce the impact on the organisation as a whole.”

Read more on the SHP website.

Laundry industry champions mental health awareness

Following on from very positive feedback from its first sessions, the Textile Services Association continues to champion the importance of mental health in the laundry industry by continuing its program of training aimed at helping develop awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

The first course of 2023 took place on the 2324 January and provided line managers with an understanding of common mental health issues, and the knowledge they need to feel confident about advocating for mental health issues. Attendees were also shown how to spot signs of mental ill health as well as skills to support positive wellbeing. All participants qualify as Mental Health First Aid Champions upon completion. The course became sold out very quickly, demonstrating the interest the laundry industry has in driving improvements in this area.

This will be followed up with another chance to take the Mental Health First Aider course. This is aimed at providing information and building confidence to help with identifying mental health issues and helping anyone experiencing them to get the help they need, as well as ways to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. “The TSA feels it is vitally important that it supports its members to help ensure their employees mental health is looked after,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “It’s brilliant that we now have more qualified mental health first aiders in the industry, and we hope more companies will be inspired to join this initiative.”

For more on the training scheme, visit the HSM website.

Building firm fined for multiple failings that included workers being lifted by raised bucket

A building firm has been fined for a catalogue of health and safety failings that included two builders being lifted into the air by a raised telehandler bucket.

A photograph caught the moment a pair of workers stood in the bucket of a digger to fit a stone into the top of a new home in Littleborough, Greater Manchester.

It was one of a number of health and safety failings found during construction work at The Villas development on Starring Road in Littleborough.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors visited the housing development on 7 July 2021 and issued Hoyle Developments Limited, the site’s principal contractor, with a Prohibition Notice for inadequate scaffolding and Improvement Notices for a lack of welfare facilities and insecure fencing.

Learn more on the HSE website.

Director given suspended prison sentence and firms fined after worker dies

A director has been given a suspended prison sentence and two firms have been fined after a worker was killed when glass panes fell on top of him while unloading a shipping container from a lorry.

Tawanda Chamwandayita, from Edgbaston, Birmingham suffered fatal crush injuries when units of glass fell on top of him while unloading materials from a shipping container.

The glass fell against his leg, knocking him off the rear of the lorry where he fell to the ground in an incident on Walsall Road, Birmingham on 26 October 2017. Mr Chamwandayita, 37, was killed when approximately 17 glass panes fell on top of him from the lorry.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and West Midlands Police found the unloading was not properly planned, supervised or carried out safely. The defendants failed to assess the risk of workers falling from the lorry and the risk from large and unsecured items falling from the lorry onto workers while unloading.

Inexperienced and vulnerable workers, some of them just 17-years-old, were working in dangerous conditions with no supervision, inadequate equipment and without any planning or risk assessment in place.

Evergreen Construction (UK) Limited was appointed as the principal contractor but failed to take action to ensure the safety of the workers. The client, Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited (previously known as Hilux Developments Birmingham Ltd and Fast Item Residential Limited) had engaged their own contractor to arrange the delivery and unloading of the container full of large and heavy items, including the glass. The principal contractor was on site but failed to do anything to ensure that the unloading operation was properly planned, appropriately supervised or carried out safely.

Read more about the case on the SHP website.

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