What are the most frequent health and safety office complaints?

As the world’s attention is focused on the Coronavirus or COVID-19, the most frequent health and safety complaints made in an office have been collected.

This research which comes from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 42 per cent have made complaints about the air quality and temperature in their office.

Just under a quarter (24 per cent) have complained about the physical workplace and 20 per cent about the cleanliness of the office.

Over the course of 2016 to 2019, complaints made to the HSE over working conditions analysed by Bunkabin, an on-site accommodation provider found that 2,987 employees made a complaint about their toilet facilities.

Other common reasons for raising complaints to the HSE included excessive noise (898), lack of canteen/restaurant/eating facilities (471), and damp (463).

Bunkabin research in 2019 found that 47 per cent of workers think their employer could do more to improve their toilet and shower facilities, 28 per cent said they do not have the ability to lock their toilets and 8 per cent do not have any toilet facilities at all.

Over a third (38 per cent) of those who made a complaint do not feel as if it was taken seriously and 15 per cent said it was completely ignored. Less than a fifth (18 per cent) said their complaint was listened to and taken seriously.

Luke Rothwell, director at Bunkabin, said:

Employees are often the best people to provide information on risks in the workplace, and employers should ensure that workers understand how to raise concerns about the workplace and feel confident to do so. Involving them in making decisions shows that health and safety is taken seriously.

It is shocking to think that the majority of complaints from workers are either falling on deaf ears or being inadequately responded to. Employers have a legal duty to ensure that workers are kept safe while carrying out their duties, and is one of the most basic and essential requirements for any business.

For many industries, such as construction and agriculture, workers are often working unsupervised in hazardous conditions, so if a worker fears for their own safety, they should feel confident to raise their concerns with their employer.

In order to conduct this research, HSE spoke to 1,000 UK employees.