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Best Ways of Avoiding Workplace Accidents

 26 Jul 2021

Workplace injuries are bad news for everyone involved. The injured worker could be out of work for some time, colleagues may question the duty of care of their employers, while companies can be hit by legal actions, and their insurance premiums go up.

According to the Health and Safety Executive,  there were 693,000 non-fatal workplace injuries in 2019/2020. The most common causes were slips, trips and falls on the same level, lifting or carrying and falls from a height.

Workplace injuries are a common occurrence with serious ramifications, but they can be avoided or, at the very least, their number reduced. Here's how:

Maintain Your Floors

Quickly repair damage to flooring that could be a trip hazard such as cracked or loose tiles. Be sure to mop up spills immediately.

Ensure Safe Lifting and Manual Handling

If employees need to lift heavy objects, make sure they have all the tools they need to do so safely and know how to operate them. Follow safe lifting and handling techniques recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.

Keep Workspaces Clean & tidy

Cleanliness isn't just about appearances and keeping germs at bay; it's also about preventing accidents. Unclean and cluttered spaces are trip and fire hazards. Ensure employees keep their cubicles/offices clean, including neatly arranging computer cables and cords and not leaving them in a tangled mess. Make sure there are no loose wires anywhere or piles of documents and papers on the floor.

Report Small Problems

No matter how small a problem, whether it's a dripping tap or a broken light switch, report it immediately. If you leave problems to fester, they can become more significant issues that compromise safety and are more expensive to repair.

Provide Proper Training

Ensure staff are always adequately trained for their position and know how to operate equipment safely.

Display Signage

Always put out appropriate signs to warn of hazards such as wet floor, trip hazards and flammable materials.

Organise Regular Emergency Drills

Workplace safety drills are an essential part of making sure everyone stays safe. Keep them unannounced and add some unexpected elements such as blocking off a few exits. In most real emergencies, employees may have to seek alternative evacuation routes, so it's an excellent idea to keep them on their toes during drills. When drills are announced ahead of time, employees tend to take them less seriously and exit the building the same way they always do.

Discourage Shortcuts

Accidents are more likely to happen when people cut corners and skip steps to complete tasks. Provide clear instructions on how tasks should be organised to minimise the risk of mishaps.

Store Equipment and Materials Safely

Weight should be evenly distributed in cabinets and on shelves and heavier items placed lower to the ground. Keep chemicals, including cleaning materials, in their properly labelled original containers.

Look After Company Vehicles

If you have any company vehicles, ensure they're regularly inspected and that any repairs are carried out straight away.

Report Accidents

Keep a book to record accidents and near misses. This will help you identify risks and work out what you need to do to prevent them in the future.

Hire A Professional Cleaning and Facilities Management Contractor

Their proactive approach to cleaning and maintenance will keep everyone safe, minimise accidents and also extend the lifespan of buildings and fixtures and fittings.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, no matter how safe the environment is and how careful employers and employees are, accidents will happen from time to time. When they do, make sure you're prepared to give people the help they need.

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