Up to a quarter of UK employers are breaking the law and
putting the health and safety of their employees in jeopardy, according to a
survey by training company RRC business training.
The study of 103 office managers shows that a fifth are not
providing their staff with any health & safety training.
Despite an estimated 3.7 million working days being lost
each year as a result of back pain alone, 21 per cent of UK businesses are not
carrying out assessments of computer workstations.
The study found that many office managers were unaware that
electrical equipment needs to be checked annually. More than two-thirds of
managers in the professional services sector don’t think kettles, computers or
table lamps need to be tested.
Although work breaks once every hour are recommended, the
survey found that 40 per cent of media employers believe that twice a day is
Employers are also remiss in offering health & safety
training, with 80 per cent of retail and motor trade employers only providing
it to new recruits.
The priority given to health & safety by employers is
summed up by staff’s attitudes to training on the subject. The study found that
32 per cent of office managers said that most people viewed health & safety
as a ‘necessary evil’.
This rises to 57 per cent in the retail and motor trade with
20 per cent of IT managers regarding it as a complete waste of time.
By Karen Higginbottom