Today workers around the world come together and show solidarity in remembrance of those who have been killed or injured at work.
Every year more people are said to lose their lives as a result of accidents in the workplace than in wars. Sadly, many of these accidents could be prevented, which is why highlighting the importance of employee safety is so vital.
Recognised on April 28th – International Worker’s Memorial Day aims to raise public awareness of safety in the workplace and campaign for measures to increase protection, including stricter enforcement of regulations and higher penalties for breaches.
To mark the day, a series of events, demonstrations and vigils will be taking place along across the globe, with some observing a minute’s silence.
Why is International Workers Memorial Day important?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates the following:
78 million men and women globally die every year as a result of work related accidents and diseases
Most of us will probably be familiar with the idea of screech alarms. The concept is simple, if threatened a user activates a small device which emits a loud piercing noise in an attempt to scare off an attacker.
This type of alarm is commonly issued to those who are concerned about their personal safety. However, when it comes to protecting those working alone, is a more advanced safety solution required?
Limitations of passive alarms
The sound given off by screech alarms is deliberately unpleasant to the ears and can startle an attacker. This gives a victim the chance to escape and also alerts others in the immediate area that someone is in trouble.
However, the problem with passive alarms is that if there’s no one nearby, then no one can help. Even if a person is able to get away from the initial threat, they may be badly injured and require urgent medical assistance.
Alarms can also be easily silenced or muffled if an assailant places their hand over it. In busy cities their effectiveness is reduced further
It was reported earlier this week that assaults on NHS workers have increased by nearly 10% from 2016-17 – with nurses, paramedics and mental health staff most likely to be on the receiving end.
Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Health Service Journal on behalf of Unison, includes responses from 181 of the 244 NHS Trusts in England.
Figures show that there were 56,435 physical assaults recorded within this period, which if extrapolated across the NHS as a whole could potentially mean this figure is closer to 75,000 – as many as 200 a day.
Incidents include a nurse being slapped by a patient, one threatened with a knife and another witnessing a colleague being punched.
Staffing pressures have been cited as a contributing factor in the rise, with many blaming chronic understaffing and delays in patients accessing medical services.
Sara Gorton, Unison’s Head of Health stated, “Staff shortages are harming patient care and helping to create a hostile environment.”
“Now that there is no NHS or government organisation collecting data on assaults nationally
This week is National Stalking Awareness Week which takes place from 16th-20th April. The annual event aims to shine a spotlight on the issue, with this year’s theme focusing on reporting stalking.
What is stalking?
Stalking is when an individual inflicts a pattern of obsessive behavior towards somebody else, repeatedly intruding on their life and causing distress. This can typically include anything from sending unwanted messages and gifts to following a person in the street or turning up unannounced at their workplace.
Since 2012, stalking has been recognised as a criminal offence in the UK with the maximum prison sentence being 10 years. According to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – who run the National Stalking Helpline – one in five women and one in ten men will experience stalking in their lifetime, with one million people in the country falling victim every year.
Types of stalkers
Stalkers fall into several categories. Around 80% of victims are stalked by someone they know, with 45% stalked by an ex-partner and 22% by an acquaintance. It’s rarer for a stalker not
Across the UK today, thousands of us will be encouraged to leave the car at home or ditch public transport and make our way into work on foot for National Walk to Work Day.
With lighter mornings and a promise of sunnier weather, the timing of this particular event could not be better. For those who choose to get involved, walking to work has many benefits. It’s not only kinder to the planet and good for our health, but also getting out in the fresh air first thing is a great way to start the day and avoid the usual stresses of commuting.
If you’re taking part, it’s important to be mindful of your safety especially those who may be doing a journey for the first time. We’ve rounded up some of our top personal safety tips to help you on your way.
Read these tips before you set out
1. Plan your route beforehand
You may not be familiar with the route if this differs from the way you’d drive. So check before you