Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Reducing accidents at work - it’s easier than it may seem!

In the past year alone (2014/15), approximately 1.2 million people suffered from a work related disease. To put it into perspective, that’s approximately 1 in 60 people. This is also equivalent to 27.3 million working days being lost because of work-related illnesses and injuries, or over £14 billion in cost due to injuries and ill health from working conditions.

To further put things into perspective, there’s also a death toll. 142 workers were killed at work, and over 2,500 succumbed to the notorious asbestos-caused Mesothelioma (a cancer of the covering of the lungs or in the abdomen).

If you weren’t aware of it already, we hope these statistics further enforce the need for health and safety awareness in the workplace, for both staff and employers.

Health and safety is a broad, extensive subject, but we’ve decided to compile some of the most common tips that are terrifyingly easy to implement into the workplace.

Train staff well

Even the most skilled and experienced workers will come across an aspect of health and safety that they haven’t had to consider in each new job they start. Be sure to share every tip and technique you come across with your workers, and frequently check that they are aware of the businesses health and safety policies.

Don’t assume that everyone you hire will be massively clued up on health and safety, either. When interviewing candidates, be discerning when it comes to health and safety, and don’t be tempted to just hire for the sake of it.

Provide the correct tools and equipment

You can preach about health and safety all you want; if employees don’t have access to the correct working materials or tools, a major accident could still occur. Discourage shortcuts when it comes to work, regardless of how convenient it may seem at the time. If the cost of purchasing new equipment is making alarm bells ring in your head, consider this; would you rather pay for safety clothing, or pay for trauma surgery (or compensation costs)?

Make safety something to shout about

Encourage employees to report any injuries or near misses, as it shows a genuine concern for your workforce’s health and safety.  Avoid offering rewards for achieving zero injuries; employees will most likely avoid reporting altogether, which will likely increase the risk of injuries.  If you wish to implement a reward scheme into health and safety, why not offer rewards for the most efficient, inventive, or most unusual suggestions for ways to improve health and safety?

As well as constantly encouraging employees to report injuries/near-misses, always be on the lookout for new and effective ways to improve health and safety. Why not get together with your employees for an informal brainstorming session to let them voice their ideas or concerns?

At the end of the day, you can take as many precautions as you like; no workplace is ever going to be 100% safe. As discouraging as many find this, it’s still essential to do everything in your power to get closer and closer to that 100%, even if you never reach it.

The consequences of an unsafe workplace can range from small trips and slips, to lawsuits, to even death. None of these are desired in the workplace, so we recommend following the above tips (and the hundreds of others out there) to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

See the infographic below for more statistics about accidents at work.

Accidents at Work Claims Infographic

Original source of information about accident at work claims: Blackwater Law

This article was provided by Blackwater Law a solicitors firm based in Essex, United Kingdom.  

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