How field work teams can start 2022 safely

Safety incidents can happen at any time and to any worker, but there are certain scenarios that create higher risks. The Health and Safety Executive states that workers are as likely to have an incident during their first six months in a new job as they are for the entire duration of the rest of their working lives1. This vulnerability of new workers can be attributed to a lack of experience or training or their unfamiliarity with the hazards of their work.  

However, being new to the job is not the only time workers are at a higher risk of injury. It is well known among safety professionals that starting work after a holiday season is another vulnerable time for field workers. In fact, the month of January typically has the worst injury stats of any month in the year. 

Several factors contribute to higher safety incident figures after the holiday season. Many people feel sluggish coming back to work after overindulging in festive delicacies and celebrations. Our minds tend to reflect the sluggishness we feel in our bodies leading to slow reactions and a lack of mental sharpness. This can have disastrous effects on the quality of point-of-work risk assessments. Critical hazards can be missed and expose workers to risks that could have been avoided. In some cases, the interruption to a work routine caused by the holiday season may lead to some standard safety tasks being temporarily forgotten. 

Safe Start campaigns are a great way to engage field workers in a safety culture before beginning their work after the holidays. 

Safe Start campaigns 

Many organisations launch their new year with a Safe Start campaign aimed at helping workers focus on safety from the first day they return to work. These campaigns can change January’s injury trends and help companies to send workers home safely to their families at the end of every shift. Here are some examples of initiatives that could be included in Safe Start campaigns: 

  1. Pull all field force operatives off the road for a day to remind everyone of the importance of a safety mindset. Disrupting the normal activity can shift the atmosphere of a returning work force from lethargy to focus. 
  1. Get a senior executive to talk with field teams about the general sluggishness that everyone feels coming back from the holidays. When a senior person in the organisation identifies with workers, it unites the entire organisation in the fight to prevent injuries. 
  1. Use focussed toolbox talks to get the teams thinking about hazards and control measures. Starting each shift with a safety talk is a great way to promote a safety mindset for the day. 
  1. Share the injury trends with field teams that highlight the high injury rates in January every year. A visual reminder of the increased safety risk at the beginning of the year can motivate workers to avoid becoming the next statistic. 
  1. Use an interactive forum to get people talking about how they feel and how to focus on safety on the job. Getting workers involved helps to break the monotony of tick box exercises that can be done without thinking. 

How FYLD can help field workers start 2022 safely 

FYLD is an AI-driven digital platform that revolutionises the safety and efficiency of field teams. The heart of the system is a virtual risk assessment that helps workers to identify hazards and implement adequate control measures.  

FYLD is interactive by design. Using FYLD gets workers out of vehicles and huts and onto the worksite by doing a risk assessment that is more than a paper-based or electronic tick box exercise. Workers physically look around their job site, filming the area and talking about the work they are about to undertake that day and identifying the specific hazards they face, all using their mobile devices. The platform then generates a risk assessment based on this input using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Remote supervisors can review these risk assessments and contribute to the process using collaborative interfaces. 

By using mobile devices and connecting field force teams with remote supervisors, FYLD opens up the possibility for other creative safety initiatives. Information can be shared with the entire field team simply, efficiently, and in an interactive way. This could be as simple as pinging each worker at the start of a shift or sharing video content and generating an online discussion.   

Our teams have already been in contact with all our customers to offer support for their Safe Start initiatives in January as we know the FYLD solution has the power to reduce the risk of injury to workers, especially after the holiday season. 

Karl Simons OBE, Executive Director – Health, Safety & Wellbeing at FYLD, commented: “The importance of making an impact following any significant period of downtime should not be underestimated. Throughout my career I have learnt that each year there are moments where leadership intervention simply must occur, and the beginning of January is one I have always taken very seriously.  

“Managers who miss doing the right thing at this time of year run the risk of kicking themselves later should one of their people be harmed, by not having their mindset right to begin work in the right way… don’t let it go, make the right noise!” 

Contact FYLD to find out more about our revolutionary point-of-work risk assessments and how we can help you improve worker safety for your field teams.