Health & Safety at Work Day

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the independent regulator providing support, advice and guidance on all things health and safety related, including statistics specific to Health and Safety in the education sector.

Health & Safety at Work Day

Author: Alex Clarke, Guest Blogger from Occupational Safety Team at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Date: 28th April 2021

The 2020 statistics show;

  • 140,000 workers within the education sector suffered from work-related ill health
  • Over half of all ill health in the education sector was due to stress, depression or anxiety.  This rate is statistically significantly higher than that for workers across all industries.

On the 28th April, it will be The World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work around the globe and we have asked Alex Clarke, Occupational Safety Technician from the Occupational Safety Team to share some thoughts and advice on keeping the workplace safe for everyone.

Never Assume...

Alex Clarke, Guest Blogger from Occupational Safety Team at City of Bradford Metropolitan District CouncilWe all know the importance of performing good risk assessments; the process of identifying potential hazards in our workplaces and putting measures in place to control them is not a new idea. In these challenging times we have been more than ever aware of the need and benefit of identifying and managing risk in order to keep the spectre of Covid-19 from our doorsteps. And, while respectfully mindful of those we have lost along the way, we are making progress! Just think of where we would be if we hadn’t properly thought about how we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and all those around us – if left unchecked the situation may well have been much worse!

Coronavirus has understandably dominated our lives for the past year, but it is important that we don’t lose sight of our day to day management of safety. Indeed, the pandemic has brought sharply into focus that working safely is an ongoing and continuously evolving process rather than a single destination. Whether in a global pandemic or not, it is vital that we keep reviewing and reassessing workplace hazards and ensuring we effectively communicate our findings to those who could be affected.

So often in our work as Safety Advisors we see potentially excellent risk management systems let down by outdated assessments, or poor communication which could seriously affect the outcome when tested. Ask yourself:

  • Can you be completely sure that something you assessed and determined six years ago is still satisfactory today?
  • Is the procedure, the equipment and environment identical to back when it was assessed?
  • Are the people performing the procedure exactly the same and can you guarantee that they haven’t developed any bad habits or simply drifted from best practice over time?
  • Has absolutely nothing changed?
  • Would you bet fifty quid on it?

A safe system of work is only as good as the people who put it in place and its effectiveness can decay over time with the natural ebb and flow of business; staff turnover, new and improved; or older and more unreliable; equipment, changes in materials and suppliers etc...

We, as employers, employees, stakeholders and the people in our care depend on safe systems of work to keep danger low...but remember; a safe system of work depends on us to keep it continuously working.

The Occupational Safety Team at Bradford Council can be contacted for support and guidance on 01274 437021 or by email