Thursday, July 25, 2024

Frontline work is getting even tougher

Life for frontline workers of many essential industries appears to be getting even tougher, according to a new report by SafetyCulture. 64% of respondents say the challenges and pressure they face at work have increased in the last 12 months.

Furthermore, nearly a third of those surveyed say they’re under “intense pressure” at work, and almost three in four (73%) feel they have been under increased pressure at home during the last 12 months.

SafetyCulture’s ‘Feedback from the Field’ report represents the views of Australian, British and American frontline workers, individuals who must “physically show up to their job”, including the likes of hospitality, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and logistics workers.

Alarmingly, more than half of this frontline workforce (54%) say if they had the opportunity, they would leave frontline work altogether.

The report reveals Aussie frontline workers are facing unnecessary pressure due to:

  • Funding their own safety: More than half (58%) of the Australian respondents had to spend their own money to stay safe at work during the last 12 months. In fact, Australian frontline workers are said to have spent an estimated $3.67 billion on this in the last 12 months (an average of $928 per worker).
  • Avoidable workplace injuries: One in three (33%) Aussies surveyed say they have experienced workplace injury due to inadequate processes or communication, while two in five (41%) know a colleague who has.
  • Bad processes, tech and tools: Nearly half (47%) of the Australian respondents say they’d like to see greater investment by their employer in technology to improve processes, efficiency and safety. Two in five (41%) say they don’t have a say in the technology and tools they use at work.

“It’s clear that frontline workers are under increasing pressure when it comes to doing their everyday jobs, despite it being more than two years since the start of the pandemic,” says SafetyCulture General Manager ANZ Sam Byrnes. “Life should be getting easier for our frontline workers and yet we’re seeing a growing expectation for them to do more, with less, and putting themselves at risk.

“The good news for businesses is that it’s not too late to address these issues and prevent more exits. Small investments in technology can do more than just help businesses keep pace – organisations can start taking steps today to become more efficient and help alleviate the load.”

Tips for easing pressure on the frontline

SafetyCulture suggests:

  • Removing technological red tape: “Digitising ways of working, like shifting from paper checks to digital inspections or automating manual tasks with the help of sensors and IoT, leveraging technology to free up capacity.”
  • Leveraging mobile learning: “The quickest and most accessible way to get training out to those in the field or working remotely.”
  • Checking your blindspots: “Hitting pause and doing an audit of your processes is hugely valuable. Sometimes you need to slow down in order to speed up. Collating and integrating your data sources in a meaningful way allows you to turn data, into insightful information, which then allows you to react in real-time, prevent incidents before they happen and starts a cycle of continuous improvement.”

To view the report, visit safetyculture.com/ebooks/feedback-from-the-field.

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