A quarter of British workers have had an accident at work – and yet one in six people wouldn’t bother reporting a potential hazard if they saw one. New research shows 23% of people wouldn’t even know WHO to report a hazard to – which means broken machinery, trailing wires and uneven flooring often get left unattended.
Would you know who to report a hazard to at work?
1 in 4 people are not confident in knowing who to report hazards to in the workplace. Younger people are much less confident with only 67% of those 16-24 knowing who to turn to if they saw something hazardous, compared to 85% of people 45-54, and 83% of those 55 and over.
Again older people were more likely to report a potentially dangerous hazard with 93% of those over 45 years’ of age saying they’d definitely report a hazard, compared to just 76% of those aged 16-24.
People who work in London are much less likely to report a hazardous situation at work with just 77% of those saying they’d definitely report something they’d seen. This is compared to 92% of people in both the North-East and North-West who answered the same.
Why people wouldn’t report hazards at work
A third of those polled in the study of 2,014 employees claim they don’t have time to worry about hazards in the workplace, and 24% would ignore things like frayed electrical cords, spills or blocked fire exits assuming it wouldn’t affect them.
A quarter of those polled say they don’t think it is their responsibility to report a hazard even if it could be potentially dangerous. Men were much more likely to use this as their reason for not reporting an issue, with 28% claiming it wasn’t their responsibility, compared to just 17% of women agreeing.
Women are seemingly more clueless when it came to knowing who to report a hazard to with 27% citing this as a reason for not reporting a hazardous issue, compared to just 20% of men.
While just under one in 10 employees claim they have been told NOT to report a hazard by someone else. Younger people are far more likely to cite this as their reasoning with 21% of people aged 16-24 saying they were told not to report an issue. This is compared to 3% of those 45-54 years old and just 6% of those over the age of 55.
Issues seen at work and whether they are dangerous
8% of people say that they see issues on a daily basis all the time, while 39% see issues sometimes on a daily basis. Only just over a half of people claim to not see issues on a daily basis.
It seems younger people are more likely to see hazardous issues on a daily basis with 16% of those aged 16-24 saying they see issues on a daily basis all the time, this is compared to just 3% of those over the age of 55. Working seems to be more dangerous in London and the South-West with just 46% of those in London saying they never see issues, and 47% of those in the South-West saying the same. This is compared to 64% of those in Yorkshire stating they never saw issues, and 63% of people in Wales.
David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, which conducted the study said:
“Accidents at work can easily be avoided if hazards are reported as soon as they are spotted and the more people who report it the better. When in a work environment it’s incredibly important to look out for one another to ensure injuries don’t happen”.
Of those issues seen only 37% of them were deemed as not hazardous, and more than 1 in 10 being very hazardous.
People who have witnessed a hazard at work
A fifth of people have even witnessed a hazard within the workplace that has been intentionally masked or ignored. Men were more likely to spot hazards which had been masked and ignored with 22% of them saying they’d seen something masked, compared to 18% of women. The older generation are more likely to not see issues being masked or ignored with just 10% citing that they’d seen any compared to 37% of people aged 16-24.
The most common hazards reported are a lack of safety around machinery, trailing wires, uneven flooring and the wrong equipment being used for tasks.
A quarter of workers say there are trailing wires in the workplace on a regular basis, while 16% work in an environment where machinery isn’t being used safely and it is seen at least once a week. Unsurprisingly men saw a lack of safety around machinery more often than women averaging 1.56 times a week compared to just 1.06 times a week by women. This is primarily because a higher number of males work in environments with machinery.
Half of people claimed to have seen trailing wires at some point during their work time with it being a slightly more common slight among men with 52% seeing them compared to 48% of women.
Alongside this 43.5% of people have sighted uneven flooring and 59% had seen spillages at some point within working.
Would hazards be less likely to happen if reported?
One quarter of people admitted that themselves or a colleague had been injured through no fault of their own while at work with younger people being more at risk. Only 60% of those aged 16-24 hadn’t seen someone faultlessly be injured at work compared to 67% of those 25-34, 77% of those 35-44, 79% of those 45-54 and 85% of those over the age of 55.
74% of people believe that if hazards were immediately reported they would be less likely to happen in the future, although younger people were more skeptical. 18% of those aged 16-24 believed reporting issues wouldn’t make a difference compared to 11% of those 55+ believing the same thing.