World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023

Written by Elizabeth Williams, Health and Safety and Facilities Manager at Itec

One of my favourite quotes relating to Health and safety is:

‘Occupational safety & health is vital to the dignity of work’.

Everyone should feel valued and taken care of by the organisation they work for.

When the values companies have in their Policy statements are the ones they practice every day through training, and supervision it becomes the thread that binds staff together. They are looking out for their colleagues and are happily reporting Health and Safety issues when they arise knowing they will be listened to, and their concerns acted on.

I’ve been in Health and safety for nearly 20 years, and nothing gives me more pride after training staff on Health and safety than those who say ‘I can’t believe how interesting that was’; that they will take away the need to take care of themselves so they can take care of others.

Companies that faired best post-pandemic looked after their staff whilst we were in the mists of it, from keeping in touch in a social way ‘How are you? to ‘what can we do for you? what do you need?’

Those of us in the H&S profession who dealt with the Covid out break will never forget the work that was involved to constantly keep abreast of all legislation from Westminster to the Welsh government, things could change daily which was unheard of from self-isolating, Covid jabs, reporting covid on aps, erecting plastic casing around staff, hand gel, wipes, masks. The mental health impact it had on those who were afraid to leave their homes for months afterwards.

But we got through it,  we came out the other side and know we can adapt support and ultimately move on. As humans we have a huge capacity for putting events, even traumatic ones, to the back of our minds.

As people, we tend to compartmentalise events that have affected us, it’s in our nature. Awareness Days such as World Day for Health and Safety at Work give us the opportunity to reflect on events such as the Covid pandemic and navigate through general working life.

On this World Day for Health and Safety at Work another pertinent quote:

‘On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from navigating through it.’