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The Workplace Safety Index



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We studied top UK industries to determine the best and the worst for employee safety, and the results look positive, with many industries reporting high scores for employee safety. The rate of accident and injury in the workplace is gradually slowing down year on year – but could it be that the COVID pandemic has accelerated this, increasing awareness and attention to detail in employee safety?

On the whole, results show that employees feel safe in the workplace, with the average respondent rating their workplace at 8.1 out of 10. Interestingly, it is not just that they feel safe from the threat of COVID-19. The report also includes workplace machinery, the condition of floors and buildings, and PPE equipment. In almost every area and in every industry, UK employees have scored their workplace highly.

Agriculture  

With a safety score of 7.8 out of 10, Britain’s most dangerous industry seems to have been doing something right. Workplace machinery, the largest concern for farmers, was given a safety score of 7.6, while stability of flooring and building conditions scored 7.4 and 7.7 respectively.

Healthcare 

Healthcare professionals have ranked the distributed PPE in their industry at 8.2, showing most employees feel safe when it comes to personal protection equipment, which is excellent news.

In terms of practical danger, intricate medical machinery ranks among the safest of UK workplace equipment at 7.9. Condition of floors is also up at 8, but interestingly, the general condition of buildings is lower at 7.7. It may be that it’s been all hands on deck in containing the pandemic in hospitals, and general building maintenance has taken a backseat.

Hospitality  

Hospitality again is feeling safe. When asked on a scale of 1-10 (10 being very safe) how safe employees feel in the workplace, the average UK worker in this sector answered 8.3.

However, when asked how safe employees felt when thinking about PPE at their job, the average answer was lower at 7.7 Whilst still high, this shows perhaps a slight slacking of PPE rules in the hospitality industry the longer venues have remained open.

Office work

Dubbed the safest place to work, employees working in offices give their workplaces an average score of 8.4.

Like healthcare, employees feel slightly less safe in regards to the conditions of buildings, dropping to 8 out of 10. Whilst still being high, this may reflect the periods of time offices were vacant during the pandemic; perhaps issues have arisen due to buildings being unused, which are now surfacing as people have returned.

Public service 

Matching office employees with its safety rating of 8.4, the public service too seems to be taking care of its employees. Respondents of the survey ranked workplace machinery 8.2, and condition of floors 8.1.

Unlike general office workers and hospital workers, public service employees feel safer in regards to the general condition of buildings, with the average score 8.2.

Retail 

Respondents in the retail industry have given the industry 7.9 out of 10. Whilst trailing most of the other industries in the study, this still shows retail is overall going in the right direction in terms of employee safety.

Attitudes towards equipment and conditions is also positive, with machinery at 7.8, the state of flooring at 7.7,  and infrastructure at 7.7.

Education  

Designed as an area of wellbeing for children of all ages, you’d expect nothing less than exceptional safety in the classroom, so it’s no surprise that it tops our index as the most highly thought of workplace for safety (8.4), matching offices and the public service. Classroom flooring also scores highly with 8.3, and workplace machinery was 8.4.

When it comes to COVID, the classroom has been hit as hard as any other workplace, but PPE distribution in schools (7.2) is among the worst of any sector. Similarly, 62% of teachers feel social distancing hasn’t been enforced sufficiently, although the practical application could be tricky given the energetic and lively nature of children.

Transport and logistics 

Due to the vehicular nature of the job, it was unsurprising that transport workers consider their day-to-day machinery among the least safe of all industries, and with a score of 7.5, this remains the case.

When it comes to the builds involved in their work, employees are feeling less than safe, with the score coming in at 7.6. Feelings towards safety in regards to PPE was also at 7.7. With Brexit causing a stir amongst the transport industry, it seems worker safety may have taken a hit along the way.  

Warehousing 

Warehousing is regarded as one of the more dangerous industries at 7.9, trailing behind many industries investigated, but still holding a respectable score in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to how safe people feel in regards to machinery it gained a score of 7.8 out of 10.

Conditions of floors were scored 7.7, showing that a sizable amount of people feel safe, although there are still improvements to be made. Like healthcare and office work, general conditions of buildings was lower at 7.5, perhaps for similar reasons to healthcare – with high demand during lockdown, building repairs might not have been a priority.

Compiling workplace data from real employees, we’ve managed to reveal which UK industries are the safest, and which are, indeed, the most dangerous for workplace accidents. For even more expert debate and advice around the subject of workplace safety, enjoy exploring the latest on our blog