In my days at ‘The Law Firm’, you would have expected the emphasis to be on ensuring all health and safety procedures were followed to the letter.
This was not always the case, although the basics were always adhered to. We had fire alarm drills, kept the fire exits clear and knew where our fire assembly points were.
But using the office microwave and kettle or risking the lift was another matter. Whilst we had ‘ergonomically designed’ office chairs (for our backs), wrist rests and foot supports for those of us who spent our days at a keyboard, we could easily put ourselves in traction by lifting heavy boxes of legal files.
In the marketing department, lugging exhibition stands, a projector, laptop and boxes of brochures was a regular occurrence. As was setting up rooms for presentations which meant moving tables and chairs, often unaided.
The Health & Safety Executive’s report “Costs to Britain of workplace fatalities and self-reported injuries and ill health, 2013/14” states:-
“Latest estimates show that annually over 600,000 workers are injured in workplace accidents and a further
500,000 workers suffer a new case of ill health which they believe is caused or made worse by their work.”
The cost of this was estimated to be £14.3 billion. Of this vast figure, £8.2 billion was borne by the individuals – workers like you and I. And bear in mind that these are just the self-reported accidents.
Poor health and safety procedures affect all of us as individuals, employees, employers and tax payers and, frustratingly, most of the time work-based accidents can be avoided.
To raise awareness of this issue, the Accident Advice Helpline has put together a competition that aims to raise awareness of Health and Safety through the work of children.
They are asking children under the age of 16 to design a poster illustrating any aspect relating to health and safety, and in particular showing how accidents can be avoided.
Caitlin adores drawing and, like her mother, is more risk averse than Ieuan who goes everywhere head-first these days brandishing one of his extensive collection of light sabres.
I have explained to him that there is only so much “The Force” can do to prevent accidents but to little avail.
So Caitlin was happy to design a poster and chose to highlight accidents that might happen at school.
|Caitlin working on her poster|
I think she came up with a good list, don’t you? I must confess I can still hear my old headmistress bellowing “no running in the corridors” at me!
|The finished poster|
Why not get your kids to enter?
The winner will be awarded a £100 Amazon Voucher and one runner up will receive a £25 Amazon voucher.
Enter your poster by posting it on Twitter using the hashtag #aahhealthandsafety or by emailing your poster to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that the entry must be tweeted or emailed by a parent or guardian over the age of 18 and you must live in the UK.
All posters must be received by midnight on May 21st 2016 to be in with a chance of winning.
Click here for more information about the competition including the terms and conditions.
Good luck and stay safe!