A quarter of employees working in hazardous roles believe their employers are not doing enough to keep them safe, according to research from telecommunications company WorkMobile.
The survey of 2,000 employees for the Work Safe report found that 25% of labourers in manual professions, such as construction, thought their company’s health and safety information did not go into enough detail about their role and the dangers they could face, or how to deal with risky situations.
Their fears could be well-founded, as only 27% of workers said their company handbooks are updated whenever a new piece of equipment or health and safety regulation is introduced, and just 20% report that manuals are refreshed regularly throughout the year. More than one in 10 (13%) said their safety manual had never been updated since they were first given it.
However, some workers were knowingly putting themselves at risk. Almost a fifth (17%) of employees admitted they have not followed procedures correctly, or have chosen not to read the health and safety information provided.
Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, said he was surprised at these results. “Employees working in dangerous sectors, such as construction or manual labour, will inevitably face a higher number of hazards than those in office-based roles, for example,” he said. “Based on this we’d expect companies in these sectors to take health and safety much more seriously to keep their staff safe.
“It’s really shocking to see that some businesses are failing to put in place even the most basic health and safety procedures. Failing to supply workers with information and guidance on health and safety policies could land business owners with a hefty fine, or even a prison sentence in extreme cases. But, aside from this, when staff are not trained on how to work safely there is a greater risk of accidents happening – especially in these more hazardous industries.”
Yates said employers should be working hard to do better. “With working practices constantly being improved, there is no excuse for not obeying the law and fulfilling their business obligations,” he said.