Ansell Publishes Second Edition of Hand Safety Report in Partnership with NSCA Foundation; 47% of safety managers have concerns about underreporting.
27 March, 2018 - Melbourne, Australia - Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, in partnership with National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) Foundation, conducted a first of its kind survey in 2016 to understand and benchmark hand safety performance and improvement trends. A second edition of research was conducted in 2017 to continue to identify emerging trends in safety practices within Australia and New Zealand.
A total of 381 respondents were surveyed as part of the study from 18 October to 20 November 2017. In addition, one-on-one interviews were carried out with 10 representatives from leading companies. All surveys were conducted with decision makers in worker safety, procurement and operational roles.
In the report, 50% of respondents indicated their company’s overall safety performance has improved since 2016. Organisations are moving away from a top-down approach towards coaching employees to own the implementation of safety practices and establishing more programs for workers to provide feedback.
Despite the overall improvements, 47% of safety managers still say that they worry about worker underreporting of injuries, suggesting that the reported safety performance of many companies is overstated. The main reasons for underreporting are thought to be concerns about blame and punishment, with no clear trend of change.
“The perceived fear of blame and punishment continues to stifle the true reporting of incidents. It seems incidents aren’t always being seen as a catalyst for improvement, and in some cases, are being disregarded,” says Jamie Burrage, NSCA Foundation General Manager.
Even with 95% of organisations experiencing hand injuries of some sort, the report shows there is still great uncertainty around the full impact on their organisations - with 43% unsure of their injury costs. Of those that did measure injury costs in 2017, hand injuries are estimated to cost organisations AUD $60,000 per year. However, these figures may be understated because many do not consider all the different types of costs that are associated with injuries, such as legal costs, lost productivity, training, clean-up and administration.
“The estimated costs of hand injuries should reinforce to employers that higher standards of safety not only limit the risk to their employee, but also the risk to the bottom line,” says Burrage.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves is considered the number one way to reduce hand injuries. 60% of respondents cited the main reason for not using hand protection or for using the wrong hand protection is that it can interfere with comfort and ability to perform.
Engaging workers to influence behavior change is still considered the best strategy to improving worker safety. This is consistent with the 2016 report results. Participants stated the need to involve workers in creating solutions for themselves and their peers.
The full report is available for download at www.ppe.ansell.com.au.