Lots of companies face challenges in occupational health and safety and there are a number of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) trends that look set to continue in 2018.
It is therefore important that many companies continue with their EHS strategies as well as look for new ways and practices which can deal with the issues and concerns head-on to ensure continued success.
1. Dealing with Workplace Stress
Concerns surrounding the development and impact of workplace stress. With the Health and Safety executive reporting that over 12.5 million days are lost at work in 2016/17 because of stress at work, at a cost of 5.2 billion. Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work. Work-related stress disorders are expected to rise as the economy continues to undergo various shifts and impacts.
Therefore, companies should take steps to ensure that current risk assessments are acted upon and are robust enough to reduce the concerns associated with stress in the workplace, as well as implement any new policies that show an increased effectiveness at reducing stress.
2. More prosecutions and higher fines
We have already seen the new guidelines at work in the UK, with the number of company directors who have been prosecuted for health and safety offences trebling in the past 2 years.
A recent example saw nearly £2million of a fine handed out after the death of a road worker which could have been avoided.
Law firms are confident that the numbers will continue to rise over the coming year as governments and official bodies crack down on workplace health and safety.
In 2018, take time to review your safety practices and ensure your business is compliant above and beyond the standards set. Whilst compliance costs are not on the rise, the penalties certainly are.
3. Leveraging Risk Management
2017 saw a continued trend in developing internal risk management systems and so 2018 will be the year when sufficient time will have passed for the systems to provide results to benefit the company. Such systems will provide risk management data and effectiveness that can be used in specific areas of the business to further reduce inherent risk development.
4. Increased Reliance on Predictive Analytics
Another emerging trend in 2018 is the increased dependence of predictive analytics. As many companies have been developing risk management data and using analytics tools to interpret the data obtained.
In addition, the trend of emphasising the use of these predictive analytics is expected to rise as much of this information is refined even further and begins to show positive returns for companies that have been implementing this predictive technology as part of a risk management profile.
However, this is relatively new and there is still time for those companies that have not implemented such a system.
5. Safety Culture
Not a new trend but it is one which we believe will become less of a buzz word and will become a goal for companies in 2018.
Safety culture is the attitude, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to safety in the workplace.
Safety culture is a part of organisational culture, and has been described by the phrase “the way we do things around here”.
A good safety culture can be promoted by senior management commitment to safety, realistic practices for handling hazards, continuous organisational learning, and care and concern for hazards shared across the workforce.
Do you know if your company’s safety culture is prepared to tackle the new issues and concerns of the upcoming year? Take our free safety survey to find out!
2018 looks to address some of the challenges that arose during 2017, while adding additional emphasis on new concerns and trends.
For QSHE professionals, the impacts of these various trends and challenges may require further refining of existing practices and systems.
In addition, as EHS becomes more intertwined with your company, it will impact on areas that were once considered outside the scope of health & Safety and will be essential for successful companies.
Happy New Year from all at Bluezone Technologies and we wish you all a safe, happy and healthy 2018.