“The WHO/ILO estimate that almost 2 million people die from work-related causes each year,” highlights Spokesperson for Arinite, Brendan Tuite.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022, which takes place today, this year has the focus on participation and social dialogue to create a positive health and safety culture.

Participation and social dialogue has been a key Occupational Health and Safety strategy throughout the pandemic, with effective communication across stakeholders vital for maintaining standards across workplace transformations.

Implementing and managing a health and safety program is imperative. “Part of managing a health & safety programme lies in the marketing message: the need to constantly refresh the script to keep people engaged and contributing their own ideas,” says Mr Tuite.

“The 28th of April provides a great opportunity to reinvigorate campaigns with briefings, quizzes, presentations, flyers, hazard-spotting tours, and suggestion schemes,” adds Mr Tuite.

 

How can employers create a positive health and safety culture?

Health and Safety Consultancy Arnite have provided three actionable methods that employers and health and safety organisers can implement to encourage participation and social dialogue.

 

  1. Regular Wellbeing Catch Ups with Team Members: encourage increased transparency between employees and management by scheduling wellbeing catch ups with each member of the team. These can be monthly or weekly.
  2. Regular Anonymous Employee Surveys: suggestion schemes and surveys help to gauge the thoughts of your employees, helping management to see how effective current protocols are and see where improvements can be made.
  3. Streamline processes for reporting issues: some employees may be put off reporting any accidents or issues due to excessive paperwork or duplication of systems. Streamline your process into one system for reporting issues and encourage participation by making your reporting system as quick and easy to use as possible.

Mr Tuite suggests that employers could “invite suppliers such as occupational health specialists, PPE providers, insurers, authorities, researchers, facilities managers, fitness/wellbeing companies, or advanced driving trainers to support an open dialogue with staff and increase engagement”

He also suggests that if employers “already have kaizen or other employee improvement circles, encourage them to focus on H&S improvements.”

 

Can technology play a role?

Technology and data can play a vital role in improving workplace health and safety. They hold the key to social dialogue which needs to be opened around health and safety at work.

Director of Policy and Corporate Affairs at Sedex, Jessica McGoverne:

“The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a strong reminder of the business benefits that come with supporting both physical and mental wellbeing for people at work. A healthy, happy workforce across the supply chain supports business performance – contributing to reduced injury rates, error rates and absenteeism, ultimately helping to build operational resilience.”

“Technology and data enable businesses to identify health hazards, explore potential causes, and put in place preventative measures – such as training for staff, or helplines and apps to help people manage their mental health.

“Accurate data on the supply chain and the people within it helps businesses understand where safety risks are and how to protect people. For example, in 2021 Sedex’s onsite social audit identified 103,000 health and safety-related issues across over 21,000 business sites in supply chains. This data helps businesses see how well their suppliers are performing in this area, while the right analytical tools enable companies to view and compare this information at scale. Businesses can then work with their suppliers to make workplaces safer and more supportive.”

 

Moving forward

World Day for Safety and Health at Work should spark awareness of how companies prevent accidents and diseases at work.

In many cases, workplace accidents and deaths can be avoided.