Workplace injuries happen on a highly regular basis. However, as a responsible employer, you need to ensure that you are going to do everything that you can to cut back on the risk of these happening. Otherwise, you leave the door open to staff members getting hurt at work, which can lead to them having to take time off, leaving the company entirely, or perhaps even hitting you with costly lawsuits that could have been otherwise avoided. Taking all of this into account, the following blog post is going to present a comprehensive guide on how staff can be protected from workplace injuries by you as an employer.
Conduct a Full Risk Assessment
Before you can really go any further down this path, you are going to need to conduct a full risk assessment to begin with. This way, you are going to be able to see exactly where the potential problems could be coming from and what you are able to do about them. The risks that can take place in a workplace can be split up into a few main categories. First of all, you have the physical injuries that can take place such as slips and falls. However, there are also those that are based on repetitive movements such as RSIs in the dental industry which certainly cannot be overlooked for any reason whatsoever. There are also mental issues that can occur from the workplace, and these can be harder to sport, which is why you need to be in constant communication with your members of staff to prevent stress and burnout. There are also plenty of chemical injuries that can occur if you are working with products of this nature. There may even be some biological injuries, but these tend to take place in more scientific or technical jobs. Whatever the case, you need to remain fully on top of dealing with anything and everything that springs up.
Ensure Machinery is Inspected and Maintained
Every piece of machinery in your workplace has the potential to injure your staff members, which is why you need to be making a special effort to ensure that it is inspected at all the proper times by people who have a full and proper understanding of it. At the same time, you also need to be proactive in terms of the maintenance tasks that you have in front of you. If injuries occur because you as an employer have not undertaken these tasks, this can open up the door to all sorts of troubles and difficulties occurring due to your negligence. This means that detailed records should be kept at all times showing when and by whom the machinery has been inspected to ensure that your staff are kept safe and you can demonstrate that you have followed legal guidance on safety.
Make Sure Regular and Up to Date Training is Offered
If staff members are not properly trained, there is always going to be the chance that injuries occur. This means that you should not only be focused on providing them training when they first arrive at the company – it should also be offered on a refresher basis to ensure that nobody ends up forgetting the essential lessons that have been imparted. At the same time, you also need to be offering training whenever there are new pieces of equipment added to your business or you are putting in place some different working practices. Again, it is the case that without proper training, accidents are much more likely to occur. It should also be the case that these practices are regularly looked at and followed up on, ensuring that people are following the proper training and are working in a way that is fully safe and secure.
Provide the Correct Personal Protective Equipment
Another way of ensuring that staff members are properly protected is by providing the correct personal protective equipment. Ultimately, this can end up making a big difference in ensuring that they are kept safe and secure – especially when they are operating any dangerous equipment or working with chemicals that they need to be kept safe from. Again, the importance of wearing this equipment at all times needs to be stressed and enforced to ensure that a situation does not occur in which an unwanted and preventable injury takes place when it should not have otherwise done. Wearing protective gear needs to be a habit that is kept up to ensure that the equipment is still functioning properly and there are no potential risks that could have been sidestepped. There are also advances that are happening in PPE technology all the time, so it is always going to be worth keeping a close eye on current techniques and equipment to check whether or not there are any upgrades that need to be made with what you are currently using.
Ensure Workplaces are Kept Neat and Tidy
Sometimes, it is simply going to be the case that injuries occur based on the simple fact that workplaces are not being kept as neat and tidy as they need to be. The more that you are doing on this front, the less likely that trips and falls are going to occur. This can be kept on top of by your cleaning team if you have one, but at the same time, they may not always be in the office and all staff members need to be provided with the same as it should be seen as a collective responsibility. There is no point in a serious injury occurring due to the fact that something has been left out that should not have been. If there is a regular problem with an area staying untidy then it is clear that storage or a more fundamental solution is needed.
Make Sure Proper Signage is Displayed
There is likely to be some signage that needs to be displayed by law, so it is important that you have put this out there as an initial starting point. Beyond this, it may also be the case that you would like to put out some additional signage to ensure that timely reminders are being provided. Perhaps there is a particular area in the workplace that has been designated as a place where accidents can potentially occur. Ultimately, it is going to be worth being overcautious as much as you can as this type of preventative attitude is one that can make a big difference to your reputation as a safe employer.
Listen to Employees About Potential Accident Areas
As you will be seeing your business from an entirely different point of view to your employees, it is always going to be worth taking a closer look at what your employees are saying about it. You should be inviting them in for regular dialogues to see exactly what you are able to do based on their suggestions. You should have an environment where employees know they are going to be listen to over safety concerns, and that you have their wellbeing at heart.
Have an Accident Log
You also need to ensure that you have an up to date accident log that tells you exactly when and where any issues have occurred. Of course, it is also important that you review it regularly. If there is a particular problem spot, you are going to know that you need to take proper action to deal with it. Otherwise, it is going to be more than likely that the same issue will keep on happening time and time again. As well as this, you will need to ensure that you are reporting any near misses that occur in your accident log. This way, you are going to be able to look closer at exactly what is going on and prevent these from turning into serious problems for one reason or another.
These are many of the main practices that you need to keep on engaging in as a responsible employer. Ultimately, it needs to start with you checking out where the risks are coming from as this will allow you to take action against them in a timely manner. You also need to be providing regular training to prevent any potential issues from occurring in the first place, which can really make all the difference. Education can end up being a major way of combating workplace accidents. So too can providing the correct amount of PPE to ensure that the adequate level of protection is offered. At the same time, you need to open up a dialogue with your members of staff as they will be able to tell you where potential risks are happening, as well as the steps that you may well be able to take to address them properly. You should also be ensuring that you are recording any incidences of accidents or potential near misses that have occurred along the way as these will tell you what could be done in a different manner.