In the modern working environment, health and safety is of absolute paramount importance. Accidents at work can be extremely costly both in terms of personnel and financial expense.
Alarming statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that, in 2011/12:
- 1.1 million people were working whilst suffering from a work-related illness
- There were 212,000 absences of over three days due to injuries suffered at work
- 27 million working days were lost as a result of workplace injuries or illness
- There were 172 fatalities at work
In the aftermath of a serious workplace accident, the victim can take a long time to recover their confidence and return to the previous levels of performance, if they ever do.
All this emphasises again just how important it is that your office and working environment is as safe as possible.
How can I minimise the chances and impact of accidents at work in my office?
Fortunately, there are a number of techniques you can employ to try and ensure that accidents are avoided and work-related injuries are kept to a bare minimum.
Desks should be at a reasonable, comfortable height for workers and all corners should be rounded to prevent painful impact. Office chairs should be comfortable, durable and encourage good posture.
The office carpets should be clean and any spillages at work should be cleared up as soon as possible and clearly marked until they are cleared.
Employees should not be overworked and should feel comfortable coming to the management if they are feeling tired or stressed. Regular breaks, particularly for those who work on computers, should be allowed to avoid the development of repetitive strain injuries at work.
Water should also always be available and offices should have plenty of natural light.
Any aspects of an employee’s job that involve elements of risk and the threat of injury, such as manual handling, need to covered with detailed and specific training.
If a worker is hurt after being asked to perform a task they are not trained for, then they may be able to successfully push for work accident compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm with experience in dealing with exactly these types of claims, as well as public falls and road traffic accidents. Cases are often settled out of court, and they work on a no-win, no-fee* basis.