It does not matter if your business is in an office, a factory, a store, a warehouse, a construction site, or any other type of business – you have the same legal requirement to ensure it is a safe working environment for your employees. Some employers see safety and health as an unnecessary expense, but they could not be more wrong. If an employee of yours was injured in the workplace and what they are suffering can be shown to be your fault, you could have to face a compensation claim against you, as well as prosecution in some cases. Here are a few tips to lessen the risk of this happening to you.
All machines should have guards where appropriate to safeguard your workers. They should always be well maintained, and it should be considered an act of gross misconduct if an employee operates a piece of machinery without using the guards. Industrial guarding is in place for their protection as some very nasty accidents can happen without it. It is not unusual for a worker to lose a finger or even an arm when they are involved in an accident with machinery.
Walkways and Flooring
An obstacle in a walkway or some loose carpeting can cause someone to trip and hurt themselves. Make it a rule that walkways must always be kept clear, and repair any damaged flooring straight away. If someone is walking through an office, for instance, and trips over a bag or box that has been left on the floor, they could bang their head on the corner of a desk and sustain a head injury. If a worker trips over something in a factory, they could land in a piece of moving machinery and be lucky to survive.
If your business involves chemicals, construction or anything where the workers could come in contact with dangerous substances, you should provide them with the relevant protective clothing. Even jobs such as cleaning can cause skin problems if the worker’s hands are in and out of detergents without wearing the proper gloves, and where there are sparks flying around, they could sustain some nasty burns if they are not correctly dressed.
It is not just a case of supplying the clothing though; you have to insist they wear it as well. Things such as hard hats are not the best fashion accessory, but they could save them from serious injury if something falls from height and hits their head.
These are just a few tips that may help keep your employees safe. Each business has its own dangers and hazards and to identify them you need to carry out a risk assessment, and deal with the matters it brings to light. You should involve your workers in this process if you make the assessment yourself, as they may well have spotted risks you had not noticed. Many business owners opt for using professionals for guidance, as then they can be sure that their business is a safe place for their workers to be.
Do you need to make any changes to your workplace? Use this guide as a starting point to help guide you in the right direction.