Less than half of global frontline workers (44%) said they had received workplace health and safety training in the past year.

Also, 1 in 5 (24%) went on to say they had not received any form of training in the past year.

This is according to data released by SafetyCulture and YouGov, which also found that more than 1 in 5 British frontline workers (23%) said that workplace training has decreased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, more than 1 in 4 British frontline workers (26%) are unsure where to find their company’s workplace health and safety policy, with 1 in 10 (11%) unsure if it even exists.

Those represented in this data are American, British and Australian “frontline workers” – defined as individuals who must “physically show up to their job”, including the likes of hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and logistics workers.

There is an urgent need for businesses and their frontline workers to reprioritise workplace health and safety.

 

Steps to move forward

“Our research shows that a degree of complacency is creeping into workplaces as we emerge from the pandemic and companies battle ongoing labour shortages, increased demands on productivity, and workplace burnout. However, working with our customers around the world, we continue to see how simple it can be to harness new technology, implement small changes and start the wheel of continuous improvement,” says Global General Manager of SafetyCulture, Bob Butler.

“Today is the perfect opportunity to start putting health and safety firmly back on the agenda. Technology can help sharpen our focus, making sure every detail and element of risk is accounted for in business operations. Every worker has a role to play in preventing occupational accidents and their employers can help by investing in the right tools and effective training,” adds Butler.

 

What are the most dangerous jobs in the UK?

Paramedics accumulate the highest job danger score in a new study, at 19.31 in the index.

This stands highest against 32 of the most dangerous non-military jobs in the UK, according to the study by StandOut CV.

The high ‘danger-score’ is a result of paramedics having a high risk of exposure to chemical/biological agents, and mental health issues (FOI NHS data revealing mental health sick days by paramedics has increased 186% since 2011), as well as 2,993 attacks on paramedic staff, reported each year.

However, the study also shows that paramedics have a low death rate whilst in service. This is despite the risk of injuries caused by the environmental hazards the role operates in, such as poor weather, slips and trips, as well as the dangers associated with handling and moving patients in various settings.

 

Health and safety as a priority

“We hope this study encourages the public to appreciate the many people who put themselves in difficult situations to bring us vital services, and those who may go unsung like the sewer flushers and industrial cleaners of the world,” says former Recruiter and Director at StandOut CV, Andrew Fennell.

 

What other roles were found to be high-risk?

Firefighters were found to have the second-most dangerous job in the UK due to both short and long term injuries and illnesses that can be a result of the job. Analysis revealed that 60.2 percent of fire service staff report having mental health issues, with ‘traumatic or distressing events’ being the second biggest contributing factor to this distress.

Thankfully, due to the high-quality training and technical equipment used, firefighters in England have a low average fatality rate of two deaths per year since 1986. This is slightly higher in Scotland, where the fatality rate for firefighters averages 3.75 per year.

However, this is still considered low in the study with a death rate of only 0.4 percent.

Although the equipment and training deployed by fire services do help reduce instances, firefighters can (and do) receive short-term injuries sustained by fire and burning buildings. In addition, firefighters are at increased risk of long term illnesses such as asthma and hearing problems, caused by exposure to loud noises.

“It’s not surprising to see key workers like paramedics and firefighters at the top of the list, especially over the last couple of years. These workers dedicate their lives to helping others in times of need, but it is sad to see statistics like the 6 in 10 firefighters suffering from mental health problems,” says Mr Fennell.