Benchmarking risk against national data

Benchmarking risk against national data

Gill Twell MCIMSPA, head of group operations, Right Directions


Gill started the breakout by introducing Right Directions and their STITCH accident benchmarking tool.

“Guess the statistics”

Audience interaction started quickly in this breakout, with those present being asked to“guess the statistics” on numbers of: people killed at work, injuries, reported injuries, days lost, number of enforcement notices, etc.

Gill then went through the latest HSE statistics with the group, discussed their level of awareness of facility-based risks, and what the highest risks are. Audience feedback covered slips and trips, manual handling and chemicals.

The presentation stressed the importance of learning from accident statistics, and ensuring that frontline operational actions, such as accurate recording, is key to building a robust evidence base - for example, staff sickness records should record the reason for absence.

Moving onto accidents, Gill examined the true cost of an accident in terms of:

  • Lost earnings: e.g. bringing in staff to cover.
  • Human costs such as contacting customers to rearrange or cancel sessions, the impact of having a health and safety inspector on site, or duty managers being interviewed by HSE.
  • Sick pay.

Gill also looked at“non-injury accidents” and their costs.

Are all accidents preventable?

This is the key question Gill asked to delegates. In the room, just one person thought they were.

Why investigate accidents?

Gill outlined the statutory and non-statutory reasons a service provider should invest in thorough accident investigation:

  • As well as RIDDOR duties, investigations demonstrate compliance with the general requirement to monitor and review health and safety.
  • Looking at what has happened also promotes a positive safety culture and helps identify gaps in risk control management.

“You can’t make things better if you don’t know what went wrong”.

More detail on RIDDOR

As Gill focused in on RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013), she first challenged the audience if they knew who was responsible in their team for this recording task, before discussing where the line is in terms of which injuries are reportable around customer injuries/staff injuries/dangerous occurrences.

A RIDDOR quiz with delegates and subsequent discussion around various scenarios of what was and wasn’t reportable showed that there are always some grey areas and it is always best to talk to a health and safety advisor. If in doubt – report!

STITCH accident benchmarking - 2015 data overview Right Directions’ STITCH is an online platform that captures, collates and aggregates accident and near miss data, cross- referencing it with demographic information, outcomesand preventative actions. The tool’s output is a live snapshot of KPIs, allowing management to monitor accident trends locally and nationally, and review site trends and avoidable accidents.

Headline stats for 2015 are that 19% of recorded accidents were preventable, with less than 1% RIDDOR reportable, and 95% of accidents happened to customers.

Accident investigation is key – you can’t make things better if you don’t know what went wrong
— Gill Twell

Gill took the group through the 2015 data, leading a discussion around the top injuries and what we can do to prevent these. As to why slips and trips are separated out, Gill noted that we are more able to prevent a slip than a trip, so they need to be distinct metrics.

Swimming pools topped the “accident hotspots” data, with soft play surprisingly in the top 5 of accident locations. As to location significance, Gill followed through with some important points:

  • Swimming pools – general pool sessions riskiest, 8-15 year-olds most likely to be involved.
  • Sports halls – roller skating and trampoline unsurprisingly in the top 5, badminton a surprising second place in the list.
  • Changing rooms – those involved in accidents skew young: 0-8 year-olds.
  • Soft play – 99% happen to customers, with contact with object/person an obvious leading cause.
  • Outside areas – relatively high numbers of staff members involved: 8.7%.

How can we manage accidents?

Gill explained the importance of getting the basics right such as risk assessments, good NOPs, well-qualified staff and effective inductions.

Add to this good refresher training for staff, clear signage, and customer awareness of rules and regulations and your service should see a relatively low problem rate.

Finally, remember the importance of accident analysis and trend monitoring, and using this data to review plans and management, via platforms such as STITCH.


Final points on the day:

  • Remember what STITCH is telling you: 8 – 15 year olds most likely to have accidents.
  • The group discussed which sports were more likely that accidents may have happened in and that there would be peaks around school holidays and programmed activities.
  •  Think about your facilities and identify hotspot areas.

Gill Twell MCIMSPA, head of group operations, Right Directions