At Accident Advice Helpline we deal with a significant number of cases where common workplace accident preventative measures, if properly adhered to, could have saved a great deal of suffering.
If you are an employer, you can do a lot to protect your workers and avoid costly lawsuits by following a few simple rules. Employees can also keep an eye open to ensure their safety is being given the priority it should.
Be clean and tidy
If things are not left lying around where they shouldn’t be, there will be nothing to trip over, bang an arm on or get jammed in a machine. If the workplace is kept neat and tidy there will be a much lower risk of exposure to hazardous substances and health problems will be significantly reduced. If unavoidable dangers are correctly signposted, everyone in the workplace will be much safer.
Secure shelves, walls and scaffolding
Falling and collapsing objects cause a high proportion of UK workplace accidents. It is therefore essential that loose objects or pieces of equipment are secured and not subject to undue strain, and shelves must not be over stacked, especially high up. Where risks cannot be avoided, protective equipment, such as hard hats, should be made available to all employees required to pass through the area.
Provide proper training
You should never undertake potentially dangerous tasks until you have been trained in how carry them out safely. You should also be trained in the correct use of equipment and in emergency procedures, such as dealing with fires and knowing how to evacuate the premises.
Provide proper equipment
Making sure you have access to good quality, properly maintained equipment is essential if you are to be safe at work. Machinery must be properly maintained and company vehicles should be serviced regularly, with a record of any problems kept.
Make regular checks
Health and safety management is not a task that can be carried out once and then forgotten about. Some things need to be checked several times a day, others monthly and so on. Keeping clear and concise records of when checks are made can be useful in the event of a compensation claim being made.
It also makes it easier to identify areas where more needs to be done. Of course, checks are no use if they are not followed up, so any problems identified this way must be quickly remedied.
Listen to employees
Often, employees are more aware of potential risks in the workplace than their managers, but they may not speak up because they do not want to be seen as troublemakers. A good employer will welcome any input relating to health and safety issues and should make his or her attitude clear to all employees.
It is much better to find out about a problem in time to take action than to discover it only after someone is injured.
There are around six million workplace accidents in the UK every year, of which 212,000 result in absences of over three days. It is in everyone’s interest to prevent such incidents and these common workplace accident prevention measures can do much to help.