Workplace injuries are an employer’s worst nightmare – and yet they’re more common than most people realise. In fact, over half a million workplace injuries are reported in the UK every year. By taking various workplace safety measures, you can help to reduce injuries at work. Below are 7 ways to prevent workplace injuries.
Conduct a health and safety workplace audit
A health and safety workplace audit involves taking time to examine every possible hazard within your workplace. You can then work out ways of mitigating each of these hazards, starting with the most serious hazards. You may be able to hire a health and safety inspector to carry out an audit for you. Alternatively, you and your employees can attempt to do it yourself – you may be able to find checklists online on everything to look out for.
Prioritise health and safety during training
A lot of employee injuries are the result of poor training. Make sure that you’re prioritising health and safety while training your staff. Try to enforce safe methods of doing things such as crouching down when lifting heavy objects, wearing protective equipment or making sure that someone is always holding a ladder at the bottom while someone else is using it.
Use signs, labels and handbooks
On top of training employees thoroughly, it’s worth also displaying visual reminders such as signs and labels around your workplace to warn employees of hazards. You could also consider creating a handbook that employees can refer to for advice on how to carry out tasks safely.
Provide adequate PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to meet legal safety requirements. Make sure that such equipment is well maintained so that it is in good condition. It’s also important to make sure that PPE is well stocked up – if every employee needs a helmet and gloves, make sure that you’ve got enough for each employee plus spares in case equipment goes missing.
Consider pre-employment medicals
When recruiting employees for certain roles, consider whether certain health requirements are necessary. Pre employment medicals could be worth carrying out to make sure applicants are fit to carry out certain tasks. You don’t want to risk hiring people with existing health problems who may be more prone to injuries.
Service and maintain machinery
It’s important that machinery is safe to use. Poorly maintained machinery may put employees at greater risk of an injury – this could include anything from power tools to company vehicles. Put a maintenance schedule in place which involves checking machinery for any hazardous faults.
Reduce workplace clutter
Clutter can increase the risk of various injuries. The most common injury caused by clutter is slips and falls. Make sure that boxes and cables are tidied away so that employees don’t trip over them – try to keep walkways as clear as possible. You should also take care when stacking stock cupboard shelves – make sure heavy objects aren’t placed high up where they could fall and hurt people or cause strain injuries.