Last year, 555,000 injuries occurred in workplaces.
That’s a big number by anyone’s standards and a clear indication that many businesses need to work a little harder to ensure they’re offering a safe environment for employees.
Safe workplaces are important to everyone on the company tree, and there are some health and safety strategies that apply to all employees.
Here are five of our favourites.
Whether you work in a busy factory environment that has dangerous machinery at every turn or a quiet office with a handful of desks and laptops, you need to be aware of your surroundings.
The more you and your colleagues understand the hazards present in your workspace, the more you can work to reduce any threat they have from a health and safety standpoint.
Sure, you might know a far quicker way to complete Process A or operate the machine you’ve been using your entire working life, but if that method strays beyond the recommended usage - think twice.
Rules for processes and machinery are there for many reasons, the primary being the health and safety of operatives.
Risks of this kind are simply not worth taking.
The absence of a fire extinguisher or discovery of a broken tool should always be reported to superiors in your business - no matter how small the issue might appear to be.
Businesses have a duty of care for employees, but they can only cover every base if the employees themselves are proactive in reporting health and safety concerns.
Likewise, if you spot a colleague using a ladder incorrectly, offer some friendly guidance on the correct method. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you know from recent training that something isn’t quite right.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) often gets a bad wrap. Sometimes seen as cumbersome, time-consuming and - gasp - unfashionable, these vitally-important pieces of clothing and equipment are all too easily left in the cupboard.
If your job demands the use of PPE, don’t ignore it. Always wear and put on whatever you’re expected to, whether it’s safety goggles, a hard hat or full face shield.
By doing so, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of injury and set a good example for your colleagues.
The many laws and regulations that surround health and safety change regularly. And the same goes for the tools and machinery you’re expected to use; as technology develops, you’ll be presented with new devices that require a different approach to health and safety.
One sure-fire way to counter this constant evolution is to invest continually in training. Whether it’s undertaken externally or internally (with the help of train the trainer sessions), make sure health and safety training isn’t a fire-and-forget to-do list item for the firm.
Our simple tips above can be implemented by anyone, yet they’ll go an awfully long way to making your workplace a safer environment for everyone who steps foot inside.
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