The British Furniture Manufacturers' (BFM) association is helping the industry put safety first through the work of its Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) service.

Developed to help furniture manufacturers keep their workers safe and their business compliant to avoid prosecutions, the service is one of the trade body’s most valued member benefits. Led by Alistair Bromhead, it has proved of significant value as the industry addresses the changing work environment in the pandemic, states the BFM

Alistair has analysed recent UK injury and accident figures for 2019/20, which reveal that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a marked effect on workplaces across the country. Fatal injuries at work and Health and Safety prosecutions both saw large drops compared to the previous year - thought in part to be the result of reduced economic activity.

However, work days lost to work-related illness and workplace injury shot up by more than 10 million to 38.8 million, with almost half of these (17.9 million) related to stress.

BFM MD Nick Garratt says: “The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is calling for businesses in Great Britain to make sure they’re Covid-secure. Inspectors are out and about, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with health and safety law.

“Being Covid-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and putting measures in place to control the risk of coronavirus to protect workers and others. By law, employers have a duty to protect workers and others from harm, and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

“It’s important that workers are aware of the measures that will be put in place to help them work safely. Our EHS service is here to help our members to keep their workers safe and their business compliant. That includes 24/7 access to BFM’s online guidance, handbooks and downloadable templates. Members can also access BFM’s free telephone helpline, as well as individual on-site support at heavily discounted rates and a monthly EHS bulletin.”