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» Back to listing Beware of the Recovery!

10th February 2014
Beware of the Recovery!

It is great news that Britain’s economy seems well on the road to recovery. However, a word of caution from the Health and Safety Executive...

When we entered the most recent recession in late 2008 many people expressed concern that workplace injury and fatality rates would go up, largely as a result of companies cutting corners to save costs as times became harder. But those fears did not materialise. Injury and fatality rates have actually continued to improve in spite of recession.

The statistics clearly show the same thing has happened in previous economic recessions. But those same statistics tell a cautionary tale which we need to heed as we emerge from the economic gloom. Previous recoveries following a downturn have seen an increase in injury and fatality rates.

The explanation lies in the fact that young and inexperienced recruits who are new to a workplace are THREE TIMES more likely to be killed or injured than their experienced workmates who have been there for a year or more.

So, during a recession when there is very little recruitment safety performance improves, but the recruitment that accompanies recovery has, in the past, led to increased injuries as people return to the workplace and the new recruits are the workers most at risk.

We need to put in simple precautions to prevent this happening. New recruits must be properly trained - no matter how urgent the job in hand productivity and morale will suffer if your newest recruit is seriously hurt in his or her first few weeks in the job. Asking other more experienced people to look out for the new ones is easy to do and can make a big difference.

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