As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, businesses and individuals in all sectors are facing the challenges of resuming business head on.  The maintenance of social distancing guidelines and the implementation of the necessary health and safety measures will be extremely challenging, which is one of the primary reasons we introduced our own online course options.

For many this will be a relief however we recognise that for some, particularly for those who have been furloughed without full pay and those that have lost their jobs/contracts, this will be an extremely difficult period.

So, we thought it was time to run a free competition to lighten the load just a little.

The prize

We are offering the chance to win a £399 Goldcross Training voucher – the voucher can be used in a variety of different ways i.e. you can take one course or you can take multiple courses (up to the value of the voucher) and you can spend it on either ‘online’ or ‘classroom’ based training.

Importantly you don’t have to be an existing Goldcross customer, the competition is open to all – so whether you are:

  1. An existing; tradesman, specialist, operative, labourer or first aider
  2. Someone who is thinking of entering the; construction, rail, engineering or safety related sectors

this may be an ideal opportunity for you to cover your current training expenses or perhaps take those first steps in gaining the required qualifications to enter a new industry/sector.

How can You win?

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

  • Like the Goldcross Training ‘Facebook Page’ (note page not post, but happy with both if you wish)  – visit: https://www.facebook.com/GoldcrossTraining/
  • Scroll down the page to the one of our recent competition posts
  • Share the post and ‘tag’ two friends in the comments section of the post.

Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions

The voucher will valid for 12 months and the winner will be announced on 31st July.

The voucher can only be redeemed against a Goldcross Training provided training course.

The voucher has no redeemable ‘cash value’ and can only be redeemed by the named winner of the competition.

Rishi Sunak has continued to put construction at the heart of the ‘Covid-19’ recovery with a pledge to invest £3bn in order to support in the region of 140,000 jobs.

A £1 billion programme is to be put in place to improve the energy efficiency of ageing public sector buildings throughout the country and a further £2bn package will provide grants for ‘greener’ homes, enabling houseowners (including landlords) to play their part in meeting climate change targets by improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock.

It didn’t stop there with the chancellor clearly recognising that the construction sector will play a vital role in driving forward the economic recovery post coronavirus he also cut stamp duty across England and Northern Ireland, raising the threshold to £500,000 on all property sales up to March 2021, stating:

“One of the most important sectors for job creation is housing.  The construction sector adds £39 billion a year to the UK economy, with house building alone supporting nearly three quarter of a million jobs – with millions more relying on the availability of housing to find work.”

“But property transactions fell by 50% in May and house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years.  We need people feeling confident – confident to buy, sell, renovate, move and improve.  That will drive growth and create jobs.”

Matthew Pratt (the Chief Executive at Redrow), said: “We welcome today’s stamp duty holiday as a positive step to stimulate the housing market and wider economy. The measures will have a much-needed domino effect, also supporting suppliers, subcontractors and consultants to the house building industry.”

Additional schemes were also announced to aid employment, with a particular focus on ‘youth employment’:

One scheme, the Jobs Retentions Bonus, is promising payments of £1,000 to companies for each employee that they bring back staff from furlough and keep them in work until the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021.

Another scheme, the Kickstart Scheme, involves the creation of a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.   The funding available will cover 100% of the relevant ‘national minimum wage’ for a 25 hours a week, and also cover the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.  That equates to a grant of around £6,500 for each placement.

Pledges were also made to provide £2,000 to employers for every new apprentice hired under the age of under 25 and £1,500 for apprentices over the age of 25 – between August 2020 and January 2021.

The Chancellor further stated:  “If you stand by your workers we will stand by you. Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.”

Whilst there will always be detractors and some that think the chancellor should have gone further, here at Goldcross we think this is a good step in the right direction to getting the economy moving and boosting the all important construction sector.

We also think its time to start seeking and making the best of available opportunities, so make sure your training is up-to-date and that you are in the best position to take advantage of investment in the sector – who knows this may be the ideal time to consider a career change or a ‘step-up’.  If that is the case we can help, simply give one of our training advisors a call on: 0203 633 5505 or drop us an email at: bookings@goldcross-training.com to discuss your training requirements.  Alternatively go straight to our course schedule to book directly.

 

Provisional figures from the HSE indicate that fatal injuries to individuals whilst at work in Great Britain reduced by 38 this year to 111, the lowest annual level on record.

Clearly that is good news however statistically speaking it is likely that Covid-19 will have had an impact here, certainly throughout March and possibly February, as such it remains to be seen as to whether there has been a major shift in the ‘inherent dangerousness of workplaces’.  Notably as a result of Covid-19 these figures also don’t include those fatalities that may have occurred in workplaces controlled by local authorities, which will be provided for later this month.

Construction Stands Out Again?

Construction was one of the few sectors that saw an increase in the number of fatalities up from thirty one (31) in 2018/19 to forty (40) in 2019/20 which lifted it above the five year average of thirty seven (37).  Although importantly it should also be noted that a comparison of the ‘rate of fatal injuries’ by selected main industry groups (per 100,000 workers) places construction well behind: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, and Waste and Recycling.

Fatalities by Sector

These figures do not include deaths resulting from: natural causes, road traffic accidents, any form of commuting or service with the armed forces whilst on duty. Neither do they include (importantly!) those fatalities that result from occupational diseases.

In addition, it was reported that ninety two (92) members of the public also lost their lives as a result of work-related activity.

Fatal Accident Type

The most common type of fatal accident continues to be the result of: falls from height (29) and being struck by a moving vehicle (20) or by a moving object (18) which accounted for approximately 60% of deaths in 2019/20.

Cause

Age and Gender Continues to Have an Impact

As in previous reporting periods the vast majority of fatalities 108 (97%) were reported to be male workers.
Significantly 27% of fatalities were recorded from individuals above the age of 60 even though they constitute only 10% of the overall workforce and individuals above the age of 65 were found to be 4 x more likely to suffer fatality in the workplace than an individual under the age of 60.

AgeandGender

Long Term Trend

Whilst there has been a considerable reduction in the fatalities that occur annually as a result of work place activity (there were 495 such fatalities reported in 1981), the last ten years have seen minimal improvement, with the average number of workers killed annually over the last five years being 137.

Occupational Diseases

It is difficult to ascertain these figures directly as they typically occur many years after exposure and although we are now better able to record deaths related to specific diseases such as asbestos related cancer (mesothelioma) of which 2,446 such deaths were recorded in 2018, other deaths relating to occupational disease still require estimation.
This year’s report estimates that in the region of 13,000 deaths occur each year as a result of occupational lung disease and cancer due to past exposure, primarily to chemicals and dust within the workplace.

Additional Key Facts

Key Facts

Conclusions

Whilst it may sound harsh – little appears to have changed over the last five years with the downward trend in workplace accidents plateauing. This year’s reduction in fatalities is clearly a welcome positive but it remains to be seen if it remains at this level once local authority figures are added and the full impact of Covid-19 assessed.

Once again there are clear statistical indications that fatalities in the workplace are heavily impacted by: industrial sector, gender, age and activity. The later being of particular concern as the state pension age is pushed back for individuals resulting in them inevitably being required to work until they are older.

The number of deaths resulting annually from past exposure to health-related hazards in the workplace are considerably greater than the headline figures surrounding fatal accidents but sadly these are often overlooked as individuals understandably look to the ‘here and now’ as the future seems a long way off.

The figures continue to suggest that employers must do more to challenge themselves and their line managers in a number of areas, not least:

  • Do your H&S procedures adequately address those activities highlighted in the report as high risk (i.e. working at height, traffic management, etc)?
  • How does your H&S policy provide for older workers? How do you determine their ability, fitness and competence to undertake tasks or operate in certain areas?
  • Have you fully considered the impact of: dust, fume and the variety of chemicals in use within your work place?
  • Are you undertaking the necessary monitoring to identify the true extent of the hazards your employees face in the workplace?
  • Are you providing enough health monitoring on behalf of your employees to ascertain the impact of exposure?
  • Are your H&S audits suitable and sufficient? Do you ensure that appropriate PPE is not only provided but in use and that activities are being undertaken in accordance with procedures?
  • Are you ensuring that your sub-contractors (where appropriate) are meeting their statutory duties?

Huge improvements have been made with regard to workplace health and safety over a number of decades but the fact that those improvements appear to have plateaued is cause for concern.

Employers of all sizes (in all sectors) must of course continue to ensure that they not only have a suitable and sufficient safety program in place but they must also ensure that they are also providing the necessary training to individuals within their workforce, at the right time and irrespective of age or gender.

*Review the full report produced by the Health and Safety Executive.