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Health & Safety Matters

Read the latest health and safety updates in Lloyds Banking Group.

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Taking abuse is not part of the job

Feeling safe at work

It’s important that colleagues ‘feel’ safe at work so, in the knowledge that the union couldn’t sustain the argument for retaining the temporary perspex screens forever, Accord has been working hard with Lloyds Banking Group’s Community Banking leadership and health & safety teams to look closely at what the business can do to improve personal safety at work. 

The meetings have culminated in a 10-point priority plan to ensure the physical safety of branch colleagues. And ideas have been shared with the branch design team for future design considerations.

Abusive and aggressive customers continue to be a problem for both branch and telephony colleagues and LBG is continuing to take steps to try to combat this.

In branches, new full-size posters are available. The in-branch radio will also broadcast messages telling customers that abuse will not be tolerated, that accounts may be closed and that incidents will be reported to the police. The process of closing accounts will be taken over by a central function to minimise the need for the branch to be in contact with the customer.

Bodycams are still being rolled out, and further training is being developed to help colleagues deal with these situations.

The top “asks” from colleagues are:

  • Zero tolerance approach
  • More staff in branches
  • Improved security provisions (better CCTV, bodycams, personal alarms, security guards etc.)
  • Security screens
  • Not to have their full names used

In the telephony business area, there has been a marked upturn in reported abuse. Accord shared its concerns with the Group about the number of complaints that result in no action being very high compared to branch incidents. The bank is looking into why this is the case.

The union is seeking views of the people at the sharp end – so if there’s something you think could or should be done to improve your personal safety at work, please get in touch.  Send your views to [email protected] with the subject heading ‘Personal safety at work’.

In the meantime, colleagues are being urged to report every incidence of abuse/aggression and violence through the Bank’s system.

In a recent survey

of the colleagues who took part reported that they’d been involved with an abusive or aggressive customer.

Other H&S matters

Workplace “events”  

LBG is keen on having workplace events in order to make the bank a good place to work, but it’s worth making sure that these are properly organised and risk assessed before taking place. 

As an example, many branches have had charity baking sales over the years. Proper measures need to be in place before these happen to avoid any cross-contamination – a knife that has cut, say, a walnut cake can’t then be used to slice a lemon drizzle in case someone has a nut allergy. 

The off-site activities also need to be assessed to make sure that the area and activity are safe for colleagues to access and carry out the event. 

A few years ago, a filming session of colleagues playing football ended in a serious injury when one of the participants slipped, fell and broke a shoulder, leading to a personal injury claim against the bank and months of painful recovery for the individual. 

If you’re taking part in an event, it’s worth checking that the relevant assessments have been put in place, to protect you and others involved. 

Lydia Mulligan at LBG Site Visit

“Hip to Hip” working 

Accord has raised concerns with LBG about the practice of colleagues sitting side by side with customers in the branch waiting areas as it requires twisting to have a conversation. 

The union believes that poor posture will result in painful damage to the back and neck and have asked for a full risk assessment to be completed.

Get in touch

If you have any health & safety concerns or issues you’d like the union to raise with LBG, please get in touch.

Email [email protected] with the details.

Latest H&S meetings

At the latest joint health and safety meetings between Accord and LBG, the following issues have been discussed: 

  • Working at height 
  • Guidance and training about mobility scooters in branches
  • Asbestos in buildings
  • Eye tests and the need for the bank to provide the same assistance for varifocal lenses as for ordinary lenses