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Are you safe at work, rest and play?
Date of Issue: Monday, 23 December, 2019
I see the 2019 health and safety trends in work-related ill health and workplace injury are out. Not much change there then. The plateau in performance continues. It’s not surprising the last ten years has seen little improvement in workplace health and safety running alongside the financial crisis. People are working harder, longer and feeling the pressure of maintaining a modern life work balance. Workplace safety performance has not improved significantly over the last ten years.
Mental health is starting to be addressed but is it solely to do with work? If you do not have financial stability, or quality time with your family and good living conditions, how does that impact on a person’s well-being? After all, we are the same person who goes to work, lives at home and interacts with society. Do we feel that we are safe in all aspects of our life?
So, what is the definition of ‘life safety’? It may include a person’s physical and mental well-being, to be and feel safe at work and at home. This could be described as a ‘whole person’ concept of life safety. Although we have significantly reduced the number of accidents at work, statistics regarding ill-health and mental health leave considerable room for improvement. And what about safety in the home?
Consideration to residents being or feeling safe whilst at rest in their homes has come under scrutiny because of the tragic incident and loss of life at Grenfell Tower. Dame Judith Hackitt describes a whole building approach to managing the safety of the built environment, we call home.
Is life safety, in its holistic form becoming a discussion topic? Are we, as a society, making the case for the ‘whole person’ approach to wellbeing and life safety?
What can we do to support the improvements in life safety whilst at work, rest or play?
Dame Judith says that we need a whole building approach to residential safety. I say we need a whole person approach to life safety. Are employers considering the safety of the whole person?
I am pleased to see that IIRSM is driving home risk management to consider a more holistic approach to improve life safety. It needs to include all the other facets of risk management including life safety of those whilst at work, rest or play.
Keith Scott MSc, MSc, CFIOSH, FIIRSM, (Hon) FIIAI, MSyl, EurOSHM, AMBCI, AssCIPD.
Director Risk, Fire, Health and Safety, Compliance.