Looking back on 2020 - the year of health and safety

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Health and safety has and always will be hugely important to any business, but 2020 has to be the year that it was really brought to the fore. It’s been a challenge for everyone, and with government legislation changing frequently, businesses needed to adapt quicker than ever before to reduce risks to employees and customers as much as possible.

Like so many others, we worked hard to ensure all employees who were able to, could work from home, including those in our dedicated call centre. Technicians both remotely and at our sites round the UK continue to adhere to strict measures to keep colleagues and customers safe.

Despite the fact that the situation may be difficult at the moment, there has never been a better time to invest in technology and develop processes which improve employee wellbeing, allow businesses to reduce costs in the longer term and increase productivity.

We’ve found it particularly important to keep strengthening our regular communications with our staff, who’ve worked tirelessly for us, frequently updating them via emails, Zoom calls and through new procedures sent to our technicians’ electronic devices. We’ve built on our relationships with our customers, partners and other stakeholders, moving quickly to introduce more stringent cleaning processes, improve signage at our sites and ensure our employees can work as safely and efficiently as possible.

Another of our biggest health and safety investments has been in Panther Fit-Glass lifting tools, which we’ve rolled out over the past 18 months, to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries. The system was upgraded in 2020 with a wireless remote control unit. It can now accommodate the largest screens, enabling one, rather than multiple technicians to safely fit glass at height to HGVs. We’ve improved the wellbeing of our employees, reduced manual handling injuries by 63% since last year, which has resulted in technicians taking 50% less days off and have become more efficient as a business as a result.

In my view, you can never put a price on health and safety, and the events of 2020 leave us with an important legacy, to continue working towards a healthier, safer 2021 for everyone.

Article written by Bruce Bahlaj, Health & Safety Manager, Auto Windscreens.