In the eyes of an employer, an accident at work can be critical for the business, potentially leading to a loss of work days, which can have a detrimental impact on a project. In 2016/17, there were 137 workers killed due to a work-related accident. In 2015/16, there were also over 0.6 million workers who suffered from a non-fatal work injury which led to over 4.5 million working days lost, according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey. It is also worth noting that in 2016/17, there were 92 members of the public killed due to work-related activities.
Workplace injuries in Britain cost £4.8 billion throughout 2014/15 – however, when it came to paying the bill, employers paid almost £3 billion of it.
Ensuring that your workers remain safe is something that all businesses should do, but not just to reduce the bill. As an employer, your staff’s safety should be at the forefront of your mind. Here, experts in accident at work claims, True Solicitors, discusses what measures a business can put in place to ensure the safety of their employees, as well as the public, to prevent the risk of workplace fatal and non-fatal injuries that could cost your company money in the long-term.
Why Safety Equipment is Needed
There were three main sectors that experienced a high number of deaths within the 2016/17 period – the construction sector (30), those working in agriculture (27) and manufacturers (19). These industries in particular often require certain safety equipment to abide by health and safety regulations – and wearing the equipment could separate your employees from a near death experience and a non-fatal injury.
Workers within construction should focus on their own safety by wearing hard helmets which will help protect their head from common incidents such as falling debris. If your staff fails to wear the required hard hat, any of those injuries could be a direct cause of not wearing the correct safety equipment. Protective glasses should also be worn by employees that are exposed to debris, dust and bright lights that could damage the employee’s sight.
Other items that are commonly worn on construction sites are noise cancelling headphones and hi-vis clothing. Implementing a work policy that says your staff are required to wear safety clothing and equipment is the first step to preventing workplace injuries that could lead to fatal deaths or long-term work absences, which cost your company money.
Prioritising Employee Training
Regarding tasks across different sectors, it’s sometimes required that the appropriate workers are specifically trained in a certain area to ensure that the work is done to the greatest standard. Every employee should be briefed on the safest fire exits around the premises, as well as what the procedure is in case of an emergency. In fact, many premises are permitted to carry out practice fire drills to ensure all members of staff are aware of the routine.
However, there are multiple areas where your employees can be trained to strengthen your entire workforce. In the manufacturing industry, which is the third most dangerous environment for fatal injuries in the workplace, some job roles require particular training and qualifications to use machinery. Where hazardous or dangerous machinery is involved, staff must be trained on how to use it – and must use the correct safety equipment and clothing at all times. 152,000 of the 621,000 non-fatal injuries in 2015/16 led to over 7 days of work absence – providing your staff with the appropriate training could save you a big cost seen through a loss of working hours due to workplace injuries.
It’s also vital for employers to assign tasks to workers who have the appropriate certification and are qualified to do specific tasks. For example, in the construction industry, any employee who will be navigating a crane will require a Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS) licence.
Complying With Safety Regulations
621,000 workers experienced a slip or trip in 2015/16, the most common injury accounting for a huge 19%. The main causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are uneven floor surfaces, unsuitable floor coverings, wet floors, changes in levels, trailing cables and poor lighting – all of which can be prevented or marked out safely if the proper regulations are followed. Legally, businesses must follow The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which stipulates that employers must ensure that floor spaces are in good condition and free from obstructions.
According to the Health and Safety Regulation 1966, businesses have a legal responsibility to place safety signs in areas that require them – for example, wet floor signs.
Regardless of sectors, businesses must do all they can to ensure they comply with health and safety regulations and to ensure they safeguard their employees.
You Might Also Like: 7 Essential Practices To Improve Workplace Safety