Workers in dangerous jobs let down by poor health and safety procedures

A quarter of British workers in dangerous roles feel they are being failed by their company's health and safety policies.

A quarter of employees working in hazardous job roles believe their employers aren’t doing enough to protect their health and keep them safe at work.

A quarter (25 per cent) of labourers in manual professions, such as construction, thought their company’s health and safety information didn’t go into enough detail about their role and the dangers they could face, or how to deal with risky situations.

Worryingly, the survey of 2,000 employees, working for businesses that have over five employees, shows that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of employees have never received any information on their company’s health and safety policies.

This is despite it being a basic legal requirement for all companies with five employees or more.

The research, which was conducted by award-winning data capture app provider, WorkMobile, also reveals that as a result, the majority of workers in dangerous jobs do not feel that they are well equipped to deal with a hazardous situation if one occurred.

A fifth (18 per cent) have no idea how to report an issue or hazard at work, despite there being a higher chance of this occurring in dangerous working environments. A quarter (25 per cent) have a vague idea about how to handle the situation, but would still need to ask for help or consult with the company’s procedure documents first.

Thankfully, more than half (57 per cent) of workers would know exactly what to do in a hazardous situation.

Although it is the duty of the employer to keep staff members safe, workers are also failing to take responsibility for their own welfare and follow rules that have been put in place. Almost half (48 per cent) of those who work in a hazardous or high-risk role, such as construction, have not read their operations manual.

Surprisingly, those who work in low-risk roles, like office work, are more likely to read their company’s health safety guidance – almost two thirds (60 per cent) of these employees have read the health and safety documents they were provided with, despite being exposed to fewer hazards.

The survey was conducted as part of WorkMobile’s ‘Work Safe’ report, which looks at the current state of health and safety in the UK and where improvements need to be made to protect workers.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, says, ‘Employees working in dangerous sectors, such as construction or manual labour, will inevitably face a higher number of hazards than those in office-based roles, for example. Based on this, we’d expect companies in these sectors to take health and safety much more seriously in order to keep their staff safe.

‘It’s really shocking to see that some businesses are failing to put in place even the most basic health and safety procedures. Failing to supply workers with information and guidance on health and safety policies could land business owners with a hefty fine, or even a prison sentence in extreme cases. But, aside from this, when staff are not trained on how to work safely, there is a greater risk of accidents happening – especially in these more hazardous industries.

‘With working practices constantly being improved, there is no excuse for not obeying the law and fulfilling their business obligations.’

Further reading on health and safety

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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