Blog, News & Insights

How the Paris Agreement Will Impact American Businesses

16-Dec-2020 10:46:07 / by Anja Hysi posted in News, Industry Trends

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Incoming President Joe Biden is set to radically overhaul the US Government's attitude towards the environment. Chief among his proposed goals is a return to the Paris Agreement, which the US controversially quit as of November 2020. Signatories of the agreement are required to adopt a framework that regularly reports on emissions, submit nationally determined contribution plans (NDCs) limiting emissions, and outline implementation efforts, with the goal of keeping global temperature increase below 2C.

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Employer Responsibility For Remote Workers

08-Jul-2020 14:43:55 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends

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Whether employers like it or not, remote work is set to become a regular feature of employment. Forced by the closing of offices and other work environments, millions around the world have now been working from home for a considerable amount of time during lockdown. LinkedIn research suggests that ‘job searches for remote work have gone up 60% globally since March.’ Shopify has suggested that its offices will be closed until 2021, and many tech firms such as Slack have announced permanent remote working. Businesses can predict a saving in overheads; less office space means increased profit per employee. Yet employers are still responsible for the health & safety of their employees, and liable if something goes wrong.

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Do You Have A Ventilation Strategy?

22-Jun-2020 09:49:13 / by Sara MacLean - Guest Author posted in Industry Trends

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Ventilation has been shown to be a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19, so now is the time for H&S consultants, FMs and building owners to work together to prepare buildings for people returning to work full time. Sara MacLean from MacLean Communications explains.

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Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic

17-Jun-2020 11:33:40 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends

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Coronavirus has caused the largest decline in economic health since the second world war; a contraction three times greater than that caused by the '08-'09 crash. But economic risk is equalled by never before seen levels of occupational risk, even in traditionally safe working environments. Employees in shops, restaurants, and offices are on the frontline as businesses seek to re-open. But as businesses react to the threat of COVID-19, it is paramount that employees remain protected by a holistic EHS management system. After all, 'traditional' Health & Safety risks are still present in the workplace, and should not be ignored despite new pandemic threats.



 

Protection Beyond Compliance

COVID-19 has placed a spotlight on employee health & safety. Businesses that may never have filed an incident report find themselves in murky waters. Many have responded by implementing EHS management systems, in a desperate effort to manage and understand the threat of COVID-19. In the UK, the HSE has made it clear that workplace exposure to the virus is a prosecutable offence. Yet businesses are not only responsible for preventing the spread of the virus; they also must protect remotely working employees, providing at home risk assessments and appropriate equipment. Under the headline issue of the pandemic spread, a whole new risk environment has been created by new workplace realities. So how can businesses protect employees from all sources of risk, beyond headline issues?


Unforeseen Risk

As businesses get a grip on the realities of working during the pandemic, unforeseen areas of risk threaten employee safety. With the need for social distancing, reduced staff on site, and new PPE requirements, normal tasks take on unexpected risks. Any business that wants to proactively protect their employees needs a system that can balance COVID-19 risk with pre-existing issues like Emex. For the construction worker, reduced staff may make it more difficult to carry out day to day tasks, exposing them to an increased chance of injury.


Holistic EHS Management

The pandemic has acted as a catalyst, flagging the need for proactive EHS management to keep businesses operational. But the virus is only one area of risk, one which will eventually disappear. Management have to take a holistic view of risk management if they want to properly protect employees, acknowledging pre-existing areas of risk as well as new challenges that occur. If they do not, unreactive businesses will not be able to respond to the next risk event on the horizon.
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How Can You Protect Your Employee's Mental Health?

19-May-2020 16:04:33 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends

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It is no secret that mental health issues affect the construction industry more severely than comparable industries. Male site workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than their non-construction counterparts; with men making up nearly 90% of the construction workforce, this is a clear systemic issue in the industry.
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Office Work In A Post-Lockdown Society

17-Apr-2020 10:48:29 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends

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The HSE Executive recently published guidelines on how COVID-19 incidents should be reported. RIDDOR reportable incidents include:

‘An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to Coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.

 

A worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.

 

A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to Coronavirus.’

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The Growth Of ESG And What It Means For Your Business

18-Mar-2020 14:19:52 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends, Sustainability & ESG Reporting

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Health & Safety In The 2020’s: What Does The Future Hold?

24-Feb-2020 14:31:20 / by Connor Taylor posted in Industry Trends

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One of the most significant health & safety events of the last decade was the introduction of new sentencing guidelines by the HSE in February 2016. Between 2018 and 2019, 36 separate cases received fines of £500,000 or more, with the single largest fine totalling a staggering £3 million. In 2015 – the last full year without these new guidelines – the total monetary value of fines levied was relatively small, with only 5 cases at or above £500,000. Medium sized businesses, with a turnover between £10 - £50m, found themselves increasingly at risk from crippling fines. So how can these businesses protect their workforce?

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