Week Commencing 06/03/2023 – In The News

Hybrid working is healthier, data reveals

Hybrid working is making it easier for people to take care of their health and wellbeing, data shows.

Despite fewer walks to and from work and lunch-time strolls, staying at home to work on a few days a week isn’t impacting our physical activity levels. Data, gathered by Banner, shows that Brits are maintaining their physical activity levels since before the COVID pandemic and the advent of hybrid working.

This could be thanks to hybrid working helping us cut down on non-productive work-related activities, such as commutes, affording employees more time to indulge in their health, fitness and wellbeing, while some are finding it easier to exercise during work hours. This conclusion is backed up by data showing home gym equipment in particular, such as under-desk treadmills, is trending.

Jason Thomas, strategic sales manager at Banner says, “We know some business owners still begrudge hybrid working, but it should be encouraged. Healthier employees are happier and more productive, which is absolutely critical not just for individual businesses but also the country as a whole, what with productivity being low and the threat of a recession looming.

For more on the research, visit the HSM website.

UK government ‘woefully out of touch’ on health and safety standards

site safety signsSeven in 10 UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards as part of the Retained EU Law Bill, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 UK business owners run by Unchecked UK and supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), showed that health and safety remains a priority, with just seven per cent saying they are willing to accept lower standards.

Fewer than a fifth quizzed cited excessive Government regulation as the toughest issue facing them right now, with concerns around energy costs (70 per cent), inflation (65 per cent) and labour shortages (45 per cent) coming top of the worry list.

When asked about government regulation of UK businesses, survey participants identified several of advantages.

The most important reason identified is to create a level playing field for businesses preventing firms from being undercut by businesses using poor corporate practices (34 per cent).

Learn more on the SHP website.

Five ways to foster gender equity in the workplace

group of women talking at workWith Equity as the theme for International Women’s Day 2023, Lucy Dixon outlines five steps businesses can take to foster gender equity in the workplace.

Equity is sometimes confused with equality, but the two concepts are distinctly different. While equality focuses on treating people equally by ensuring they have the same opportunities and resources, equity recognises that people’s circumstances vary and treats people differently depending on their needs. Addressing equity is a way to level the playing field and can be vital in achieving equality.

Ways that businesses can promote equity in the workplace include:

  • Get to know your female employees
  • Fair representation 
  • Fair workwear and welfare
  • Don’t ignore the menopause
  • Commit to continuous improvement

Read more about how businesses can help on the HSM website.

£30k fine for dental supply company after explosion of flammable liquid

flammable liquid signA dental supply company has been fined £30k after an explosion of flammable liquid led to a fire at its premises in Halifax.

John Winters & Company Limited pleaded guilty to safety breaches after one of its employees was put at serious risk in the explosion that led to flames ripping through the building.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 23rd April 2021, the worker had been decanting heptane from a metal drum into a plastic bulk container. Other employees were also put at risk when the explosion resulted in a fire spreading rapidly throughout other production buildings. Nobody was physically injured in the fire which was tackled by more than 60 firefighters at its height.

Read more on the HSE website.

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