UK staff unaware of health and safety practices

UK
workers are poorly prepared for office emergencies and may be putting their
health at risk in the workplace by failing to adhere to basic health and safety
practices.

Research
by Lloyds TSB Insurance reveals that more than one in 10 attempt to use machinery
without adequate knowledge, 15 per cent use machinery without reading the
operating manual, and 7 per cent obstruct emergency exits.

A
further 37 per cent admit they are guilty of causing obstructions, such as
leaving boxes on the office floor.

The
research also shows that many would be ill prepared if an emergency were to
happen at work. Less than half (48 per cent) are aware of their company’s
emergency procedures and nearly a third (29 per cent) admit they would not know
what to do if a colleague or visitor had an accident on the premises.

A
further 12 per cent don’t know where the fire exits are in their building, and
a third (35 per cent) cannot pinpoint the location of their fire extinguishers.

Phil
Loney, managing director of Lloyds TSB Insurance, said: "It is
particularly worrying that so many workers are unaware of even the most basic
health and safety procedures, such as being able to locate the nearest fire
exit.

"This
research should serve as a corporate wake up call to many bosses that the onus
is on them to ensure staff do not put themselves or their colleagues at risk in
the workplace," he said.

Other
highlights from the research includes:


Nearly one in five (19 per cent) people have been involved in a workplace
incident


Men are more likely to be accident-prone than their female colleagues, with 24
per cent admitting to being involved in a mishap at work, compared with just 16
per cent of women


Almost half (48 per cent) the workers surveyed believe the biggest potential
health risks are back problems, followed closely by eye strain (34 per cent)


Most people believe the biggest impact on the company they work for is staff
absence due to a work-related injury (58 per cent)


Just 10 per cent believe theft of stock, machinery (9 per cent) or damage to
stock (5 per cent) are an issue in their company.

By Quentin Reade

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