Safety at Work
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Safety at Work Report

We explore the subject of safety in the workplace in 2021.


Three key threats to workplace safety in 2022

Dräger SafetyBy Dräger Safety2 December 2022

Many of the findings of the research behind the 2022 Dräger UK Safety at Work Report paint a positive picture when it comes to how safe people feel at work. This aligns with the ‘official’ UK picture from the Health & Safety Executive, publishing data showing that the UK ranks highly (second only to Germany) when it comes to safety across the major European countries.

However, for the purpose of seeking further improvements, it is useful to consider some of the key threats / concerns that have been identified as having the potential to adversely impact safety in UK workplaces. This year’s report focuses on three key areas:

  1. Global supply chain issues
  2. Loss of experienced workers
  3. Concerns regarding a major disaster

Whilst certain issues such as global supply chain problems cannot be controlled or influenced at a company level, there is scope to make a difference in other areas. The loss of experienced workers and the resultant threat of a looming safety ‘drain brain’ is one such area.

This year’s research highlights the potential impact of record levels of employment churn, and the resultant loss of experienced and knowledgeable workers, on the safety of operations across UK businesses.

Indeed, the leading reason cited for people feeling less safe at work was the loss of older, more experienced workers from the workforce.

But it’s not only the current state of flux in the employment market that is the only issue. 37% of those that were interviewed as part of the research stated that there needs to be more effort made to make sure that experience is handed down to the next generation of workers. And that is of course, very much something that is within a company’s control.

Whether it be in the form of ‘lunch and learns’, or ‘buddy systems’, making safety an ingrained part of the culture of an organisation, and ensuring that mistakes, challenges, problems, risks etc can be openly communicated and that knowledge is shared amongst employees, there are relatively easy ways to change the safety culture of an organisation.

With younger people (25 – 34 year olds) reportedly feeling the least safe of any age group (almost one in five, or 18%, said they feel increasingly less safe at work), bringing together employees of all generations is vital to help both encourage shared experience and knowledge, and to allow newer, younger workers to feel safer.