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Health and Safety

8 reasons why your business needs IOSH Managing Safely qualified staff

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths - Last Update: 17 Aug 2020

Contents

#1 It reduces hazards that cause injuries and absence

#2 Life-threatening risks are controlled

#3 Work-related ill health is reduced

#4 Substances that cause harm are managed correctly

#5 Manual handling processes are standardised

#6 Stress is alleviated at all levels

#7 Protective measures are applied quickly

#8 Prosecution, fines and sentencing are less likely

Amanda Bathory Griffiths.jpg
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths

Amanda is TSW's content marketing manager. 

She has a background in personal finance and corporate learning, working for national brands and global agencies.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are just over 2m working people with a work-related illness or injury.[1] The cost of work-related illnesses and injuries to business is £3bn annually - that's £1,111 each.[2]

But if you invest in the right health and safety training, accidents, injuries and even litigation might be a thing of the past. 

Sign your team up for an IOSH Managing Safely course and they'll work together to keep everyone safe, so injuries and absence become a rarity and won't disrupt business as usual. 

Sparks fly from an angle grinder

Key points:

  • The IOSH Managing Safely will show your team how to keep everyone safe, reducing your sick pay and legal costs.
  • The qualification helps your team follow UK health and safety laws.
  • It gives your team the training they need to handle hazardous situations and substances, building trust between managers and staff.
  • IOSH Managing Safely can solve many of your health and safety problems.

#1 It reduces hazards that cause injuries and absence

An illustration of an injured spine

Self-reported, non-fatal injuries reached 581,000 in 2018/19

Certain accidents are familiar to every workplace, whether your staff operate a crane, or sit at a desk for most of the day. 

Type of accident Percentage of accidents reported across all industries
Slips, trips and falls on one level 29%
Handling, lifting or carrying 20%
Struck by a moving object 10%
Violence 8%
Fall from a height 8%


In 2018/19, 4.7m working days were lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries. 

In 2020, your health and safety objectives should focus on eliminating the most common workplace injuries.

The IOSH Managing Safely is an entry-level course for anyone that works in a high-risk environment.

If you want to build a strong health and safety culture within your teams and show them how to spot a common hazard a mile off, IOSH Managing Safely is the right course for your business.

With the training, your team will:

  • Constantly assess the function and size of a space, plus how many people are using it
  • Schedule inspections but stay alert for hazards at all times
  • Know how to assign a score to a hazard and describe the likelihood and severity of an accident if no action was taken
  • Apply hazard and risk controls, plus communicate when it officially needs to be reviewed so the hazard won't put anyone at risk in the future

#2 Life-threatening risks are controlled

Two workers saw a long metal pole in half

Employers reported 69,208 non-fatal injuries in 2018/19

You must submit a RIDDOR report if a member of your staff gets injured and they:

  • Die
  • Break a bone, except thumbs, fingers and toes
  • Need amputation
  • Lose their sight
  • Suffer a crush injury to the head or torso with damage to the brain and internal organs
  • Sustain a serious burn that covers more than 10% of the body, or damages the eyes, respiratory system and internal organs
  • Lose consciousness after a head injury or asphyxia
  • Need resuscitation
  • Get hypothermia

As there are significantly fewer employer-reported injuries versus employee-reported injuries, we can take that as a good sign - businesses are managing to control health and safety risks.

However, you must make sure that accidents are correctly recorded.

You must report an injury at work if it causes your employee to take more than seven consecutive days of sick leave.

If your employee's injured, but it doesn't fall into a RIDDOR report category, you must still make a record of it. You must keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations, 1979. 

If you follow health and safety legislation carefully, you'll sidestep legal action and compensation claims, assuring the future of your business and the wellbeing of your staff. 

IOSH Managing Safely shows you how to handle accidents and control hazards, however dangerous they are. The course is split into eight modules and gives you a very clear process for how your business should approach health and safety:

  1.  Introduction to Managing Safely
  2. Assessing risks
  3. Controlling risks
  4. Understanding responsibilities
  5. Understanding hazards
  6.  Investigating incidents
  7. Measuring performance 

By the end of the course, your staff will know which hazards need to be reported to HSE and which need to go in the accident book.

There will be an increased number of accidents in the workplace following the training, but it's a positive trend - it shows your staff are accurately reporting the accidents, hazards and risks the encounter, which were uncontrolled before the course.

#3 Work-related ill health is reduced

A worker drills into a wall

There were 1.4m cases of work-related ill health last year

Whether it was related to stress, depression, anxiety, or musculoskeletal disorders, work-related ill health kept workers off for 23.5m working days in 2018/19.

The HSE reports that each person suffering from work-related ill-health took 17.3 days on average away from work to recover:

  • For stress, depression or anxiety, they were off for an average of 21.2 days
  • For musculoskeletal disorders, staff took an average of 13.8 days off

As the saying goes, 'prevention is better than cure'.

If you send your staff on the IOSH Managing Safely, they'll learn how to identify hazards that contribute to anxiety, or musculoskeletal conditions.

They'll have the initiative to flag and control hazards that are contributing to a high level of work-related ill health and absence. 

#4 Substances that cause harm are managed correctly

Fire fighters tackle a blaze

There were 18,000 new cases of breathing difficulties and lung problems last year

The HSE estimates there will be 2,500 mesotheliomas (cancer) deaths every year until the end of the decade, linked to exposure to harmful substances at work.

The regulator also thinks that occupational lung diseases account for 12,000 of the 13,000 deaths that were previously linked to exposure at work. 

There are other forms of lung disease that are contributing to the estimated number of annual deaths:

  • 20% Mesothelioma
  • 33% Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • 23% non-asbestos related lung cancer
  • 20% asbestos-related lung cancer
  • 3% other diseases

The data paints a picture of an ongoing health and safety trauma for businesses and their employees, that sprawls into the past and reaches into future.

It's not hopeless - if you work with harmful substances and fumes, you can take steps to protect your staff, some of which are covered in IOSH Managing Safely.

Firstly, the course helps your managers to reasonably predict foreseeable risks, like occupational asthma, lung disease and mesothelioma.

The course materials will run through the risk controls you can drop into working environments to safeguard against harmful substances that could cause respiratory conditions:

  • Is there physical signage alerting staff to the substance and instructing them how to behave?
  • Are health and safety procedures placed on the surfaces around the substance?
  • What equipment and machinery could be used to reduce the risk?
  • Is there a less hazardous substance which could be swapped in?
  • Could engineering solutions be employed to contain fumes?
  • Are staff wearing enough protective clothing? For example, masks, goggles, gloves and  hazmat suits 

The practical risk assessment must be completed away from the training centre, in your place of work. This is a good opportunity to bring your employee's attention to occupational lung disease and get everyone working together to prevent it. 

Another outcome of the training is that you need specialist health and safety input to identify, for instance, which chemicals and pollutants could be very harmful to your staff. 

#5 Manual handling processes are standardised

An illustration of safe manual handling

There were 498,000 cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders last year

If a member of your staff has a musculoskeletal disorder, they have a medical condition that's affecting their bones, joints and muscles that prevents them from working.

The severity of the condition will affect how long they're away from work. 

It could be a fracture, arthritis, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, causing pain in the whole body or just certain limbs:

  • 19% reported lower limb injury
  • 41% reported problems with upper limbs or neck
  • 40% reported back problems

Site managers - there are higher than average rates in the construction industry, with 2,000 workers affected in every 100,000.

Musculoskeletal disorders should be on your radar if your team are involved with manual handling - it caused 681,500 sick days in 2018/19.[3]

You can prevent hazardous manual handling by reviewing your processes and operations, to make sure you're controlling how much of your stock needs to be moved by hand.

That's where IOSH Managing Safely comes into its own. Part of the course (and half of the assessment) looks at how to complete a risk assessment.

Your staff must learn how to 'describe the harm' by looking at the severity of the hazard and decide how likely someone would be to get hurt, or die, if it was left as it is.

As an example, a warehouse operative is lifting large boxes off a pallet and onto the warehouse floor.

Your risk assessment must evaluate and describe how the hazard could injure them and the implications if they're hurt straightaway, what the long-term considerations are and if the injury could be life-ending.

Immediate musculoskeletal injuries as a result of manual handling could be bone fractures, pulled muscles and bruises. They might need bed rest, physiotherapy and numerous appointments with doctors and healthcare professionals.

The long-term implications could be torn ligaments and tendons, which need specialist therapy and treatment which extends beyond a few days off and an appointment here and there.

By assessing the risks associated with manual handling, recording and taking steps to control them, you're:

  1. Limiting the risk of manual handling injuries
  2. Reducing the likelihood and cost of sick leave

#6 Stress is alleviated at all levels

A shadow monster scares a man

Last year, 246,000 workers reported that they felt stressed, depressed or anxious

In IOSH's Management Today survey, it found that 62% of line managers receive inadequate help from their organisation to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

IOSH Managing Safely doesn't have a specific module about mental health, however, the health and safety process it applies to your business could help to alleviate pressure and stress at all levels.

If you can improve workplace mental health and wellbeing, you could prevent roughly five days of work-related absence every year.[4]

Although the estimated rate had been 'broadly flat' since 1998, it showed signs of increasing in more recent years - so it's time to take action before it gets any worse.

Health and safety managers that try to control a working environment without an active safety culture may as well push water up a mountain. They're accountable for a workplace that:

  • Isn't working together to keep everyone safe
  • Has invisible, or neglected hazards
  • Has an unknown, uncontrolled and unreported risks

When hazards aren’t identified and flagged by your employees, there’s an increased reliance on your health and safety managers to pick up the slack.

They're overstretched, their reporting won't be accurate and you won't have peace of mind that the business is protected. 

Use IOSH Managing Safely to remedy these problems and build an open and health and safety culture where everyone is accountable for the wellbeing of their colleagues and the wider business.

With all eyes open to hazards, and a solid reporting process in place, you'll alleviate the stress felt by health and safety managers.

#7 Protective measures are applied quickly

A person works at height, clamped onto a metal scaffold

There were 147 people killed at work last year

If a member of your staff loses their life at work due to your health and safety negligence, it could call time on your trading. The industries with the highest number of annual fatalities are:

Industry Number of annual fatalities
Construction 30
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 32
Manufacturing 26
Transportation and storage 16
Waste and recycling 7
Administration and support services 10

 

The IOSH Managing Safely training helps your team spot and control life-ending hazards, for instance:

  • Falling from a height
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle or object
  • Contact with moving machinery
  • Being trapped by something collapsing or overturning

During the risk assessment part of the training, your staff will use the IOSH (5x5) risk calculator and learn how to assess the danger posed by an untreated risk.

They'll work out an inherent risk score by multiplying the likelihood score and a consequence score. 

If the IOSH (5x5) risk calculator assigns a high score to a hazard, you must take immediate action to control it and ultimately, save lives.

For example, if the likelihood score was five - very likely - and the consequence score was five - catastrophic, deathly - the inherent risk rating would be 25.

Likelihood scores

Score Description
1 Very unlikely
2 Unlikely
3 Fairly likely
4 Likely
5 Very likely

 

Consequence scores

Score Description
1 Insignificant, no injury
2 Minor, but needs first aid
3 Moderate, three days absence
4 Major, more than seven days of absence
5 Catastrophic, death

 

If an employee dies at work you must report it to the police and HSE, even if your employee is working away from your workplace. 

#8 Prosecution, fines and sentencing are less likely

Workplace heath and safety book

The HSE issued £54.5m in fines for health and safety offences last year

There were 394 cases prosecuted by HSE, of those, 78% resulted in a fine which is an average £150,000 fine per case. 

If your health and safety staff and the wider organisation complies with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, you're not at risk of prosecution. 

However, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 does ask you to keep your staff's health and safety skills up to date - regular, recognised training is a way to do that. 

The IOSH Managing Safely qualification is regulated by IOSH, a widely respected and well-known Chartered body.

Once they have the qualification, it never expires, but to comply with those 1999 regs, you can send your team on IOSH Managing Safely refresher courses every three years, or move them onto further health and safety education.

Both IOSH and NEBOSH have an education framework, designed to keep health and safety workers informed about the changing landscape of their industry and deepen their knowledge.

[1]According to HSE's 2018/19 health and safety at work summary statistics and the Costs to Great Britain of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related Ill Health 2017/18 report . 2 million workers with a work-related injury or illness = 581000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury + 69208 Employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR +1400000 workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing)=2050208

[2]According to the Office of National Statistics, in February 2020, there were 2.7m VAT and/or PAYE businesses in the UK. £3,000,000,000/2,700,000 =1,111

[3]23.5 million working days lost due to work-related ill health, 29% of which were attributed to musculoskeletal disorders = 29% of 2350000 = 681,500 sick days.

[4] 12.8 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety, 2.7 million VAT and/or PAYE businesses in the UK = 12,800,000 / 2,700,000 =4.74