Report reveals variable approach to health and safety by top companies
An independent report has cast doubt on the commitment of top British firms to safety, despite publicity surrounding rail crashes and the corporate manslaughter law.
Business information specialist Gee Publishing quizzed FTSE 100 companies about their approach to health and safety and found commitment was variable and information was not always available.
High-risk sectors such as mining and chemicals were happy to discuss the issue, but not one retail firm in the FTSE 100 was prepared to divulge information on health and safety, said Gee. "This is despite their constant contact with the general public and the fact that employees in the retail sector are four times more likely to sustain a major injury at work than an office-based employee."
Among low-risk sectors, the financial sector came out best, demonstrating well-established systems and an openness to discuss the issue, with 3i ranking top. But even among these firms, only four named a board member as the person with ultimate responsibility for health and safety.
The biggest single issue for office-based work is the use of display screen equipment and risks of repetitive strain injury and upper limb disorders.
"There is a lack of benchmarking data, largely due to the lack of published information," said report author Karen Pearson.