Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Minimising the risk of injury at work

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, there will always be hazards. Accidents at work can vary from the very minor and easily avoidable to the potentially fatal.image of a bandaged hand and thumb

A quick look at the Health and Safety Executive statistics for last year will give you some indication of the significant amount of injuries recorded in the UK. Key annual figures for 2010/11 displayed 1.2 million working people had suffered from a work-related illness, while a recorded 175 workers were killed. In total this amounted to 26.4 million working days lost due to injuries at an estimated loss of £14 billion.

Understanding and preventing risks is the first step to avoiding accidents and protecting yourself.

This is why below I have outlined four key ways to prevent injuries at work:

Four ways employees can help prevent an accident at work

1) Making the workplace a safe place

One of the best ways workers can reduce workplace accidents is creating a safe working environment. This can obviously be achieved in a number of different ways depending on the nature of your work, however there are a few things which all sectors should keep in mind. This includes keeping highly flammable or hazardous materials safely contained and refraining from smoking in the workplace if it is outdoors. Workers should also keep in mind to ensure each room has adequate ventilation, equipped with smoke detectors and everyone has access to a fire exit.

You should always try and keep clutter to a minimum and clean up any spills or debris which, if left, could cause an accident.

2) Dress appropriately

When at work you should always where something appropriate for the nature of your job, instead of dressing for the catwalk. Wearing the right attire can help prevent you causing an accident, or injuring yourself. Remember to keep long hair tired back and out of the way. Refrain from wearing oversized clothing, excess materials or even long sleeves depending on your profession. It’s also important to remember what’s on your feet to prevent falling and tripping.

3) Lift with your legs

It’s something you’re always told however back injuries remain one of the most common work-related injuries. If you regularly lift objects at work, bend your knees and use both hands to lift. Lifting with your knees will place most of the weight on your legs instead of straining your back.

4) Always be aware of the risks

A workplace injury can occur at any time, anywhere no matter what you do for a living. Whether you wait on tables, work in an office, or at a construction site, the potential of being injured at work is always there. The best way to prevent an injury is to make you and your colleagues aware of the potential risks associated with your work.

This post was provided by Grieves Solicitors, of Huddersfield, UK. If you had an accident at work that has resulted in an injury, you may be eligible to make a work accident claim.

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