Workplace accidents can be devastating.
Not only do they result in costs from lost work days and other associated bills, but employees may be injured or even killed in completely avoidable situations. By putting simple safeguards in place, an employer can help to prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place.
In this article, we’ll go over the top ten ways to improve the safety of your workplace.
1. Conduct Risk Assessments
Regular risk assessments should be carried out by the company in order to check for any hazards, including physical, mental, chemical or biological harm. Here’s what your risk assessments should be addressing:
- Physical risk – slips, trips or falls, heavy lifting, excessive noise, operating machinery or repetitive tasks.
- Mental risk – working long hours, a heavy workload, or any other work which could cause employees to suffer from burnout or stress.
- Chemical risk – asbestos or dust fibres, cleaning agents, paints, petroleum, pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.
- Biological risk – infectious diseases such as TB or hepatitis.
2. Maintain and Inspect Machinery/Equipment
As well as increasing efficiency, by regularly maintaining and inspecting machinery/ equipment, you will decrease the risk of injury caused by defective equipment. If you do notice any defects to any equipment, it must be taken out of use immediately, and do not allow employees or contractors to use it until it is fully repaired. If it cannot be repaired, the defective equipment must be disposed of and replaced.
3. Provide Regular And Up-To-Date Training
Giving staff regular and up-to-date training ensures they can safely and accurately carry out their jobs, and have the knowledge to keep themselves and others safe whilst working. Ensuring your staff are adequately trained is a legal obligation.
4. Provide Adequate Protective Equipment
Providing your employees with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) adds an extra layer of protection to their work. Common items of PPE are; safety glasses, hard hats, safety boots/ shoes, gloves, dust masks, high visibility clothing, or anything else you deem fit to address the potential hazards you found in your risk assessment.
5. Keep workspaces clear
Clutter in the workspace can increase the likelihood of slips, trips or falls. Keep workspaces clean and tidy, and use cable ties to control loose wires which may pose a hazard.
6. Display Signage
Warning signs for hazards like slippery surfaces, trip hazards or flammable/dangerous materials should be prominently displayed to keep employees and any 3rd parties aware of possible hazards.
7. Accident Reporting
Reporting any accidents or possible hazards in a company record book helps to bring attention to causes of harm, so they can be remedied immediately.
8. Encourage Breaks
If employees are too stressed or tired, the chance of injury increases. Make sure that your employees have regular breaks so they’re performing at their best.
9. Listen and Take Precautions
If it has been reported there is a hazard in your workplace, it must be investigated immediately and action taken to rectify the hazard. A good safety culture should be embedded throughout the company from management right through the company and communication should be a two-way process.
10. Maintain Good Hygiene
The employer should do everything in their power to have a good standard of hygiene and welfare for their employees and site guests.
After identifying any risks in the work environment, it is important to work out who in the organisation is at risk, and how. Action should always be taken to reduce risk by implementing safe working practices and procedures.
Consult Optimum Safety to learn more about health and safety in the workplace.