A third of Brits consider their workplace to have health and safety issues

By Richard Jenkins
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 3:16 pm
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 8:21 am

A study of 2,000 working adults found that 59 per cent think their employer needs to do more to put fewer staff at risk, while another 71 per cent said their desks are not configured properly, meaning they regularly suffer aches and pains. 

It also emerged that just over half (51 per cent) have been injured at work – from a scratch to a broken bone. 

And more than half (55 per cent) complained about poor air quality – reckoning they go the entire day without breathing fresh air.  

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A spokesman for Andrews Air Quality, which commissioned the research, said: “There’s no doubt some majorly varying workplaces across the country when it comes to health and safety. 

“And while there are lots of really obvious dangers that can befall you at work, like being in a busy warehouse environment, many risks are a lot more low key. 

“Things like not sitting at a properly-configured desk day in and day out, for example, can play havoc with your back. 

“And air quality is also tremendously important, especially now we are in a world where Covid exists and fresh air is absolutely vital.” 

Work injuries aren't just physical

And the main cause of injury risk was deemed to be mental – overworked employees at risk of burnout (27 per cent). 

Another 23 per cent regularly work around cables they believe could be a tripping hazard, while 19 per cent say they don’t get any natural light. 

A further one in five have worked places that have had spillages that have not been cleaned up, and 15 per cent have seen plug sockets overloaded with electrical items. 

One in four respondents confess to not knowing their company’s fire policy – and the same amount have reported a health hazard, only to see it ignored. 

As many as three in 10 have actually quit a job because they felt it was too dangerous, according to the OnePoll.com data. 

More than a tenth (13 per cent) of office workers report their office windows don’t open, depriving them of a fresh breeze. 

And yet, 34 per cent believe the only ‘really dangerous’ workplaces are physical ones like building sites or warehouses – not offices. 

And as many as seven in 10 say offices are simply not dangerous workplaces at all. 

An Andrews Air Quality spokesperson added: “The research shows there’s definitely some more education to be done in terms of dangers at work. 

“Just because you’re not at risk of being run over by a forklift, doesn’t mean you can’t be at risk in other ways. 

“All workplace managers should – especially as offices start to re-open – be working hard to ensure everyone’s safety.” 

The top 20 health and safety breaches seen in British workplaces

  1. Overworked employees who may succumb to stress and burnout 
  2. Cables that could trip someone over 
  3. No natural light 
  4. Spillages that nobody is clearing up 
  5. Bad ventilation 
  6. Wet floors without a ‘wet floor’ sign 
  7. Loose flooring 
  8. Overloaded plug sockets 
  9. Blocked fire escapes 
  10. People not wearing the proper safety equipment 
  11. Exposed wires 
  12. No fire training 
  13. Windows that don’t have safety catches 
  14. People operating heavy machinery without proper licensing/training 
  15. Electric equipment next to water sources 
  16. No emergency lighting 
  17. A fire extinguisher that you know doesn’t work 
  18. Mislabelledchemicals 
  19. Fire alarms that don’t work 
  20. Broken air purifier