5 steps to prevent injuries in the workplace

5 steps to prevent injuries in the workplace

Make your workplace safer and your bottom line fatter

When someone is injured at work, it impacts both the person and the employer. An injury can cause negative consequences to a person’s quality of life. The employer will suffer absence of the employee, with the ensuing loss of production on top. There may also be healthcare bills to pay, and if the employer is found to be at fault there may also be fines, compensation and court costs.

More than 600,000 people are injured at work every year. The estimated cost of non-fatal injuries in 2015/16 was £5.3 billion. If you don’t prevent injuries in your workplace, a slice of that cost will fall on you.

By taking a methodical approach to health and safety policies in the workplace, you are less likely to be the employer with a hefty injury cost shrinking your profits. This simple five-step process will help you.

1.      Understand your current workplace injury trends

Take a look at your recent injury and illness records – your accident report books, first aid records, and so on. Is there a noticeable trend? Look at these sources of information as both a big picture and in their detail, on a department-by-department, office-by-office, warehouse-by-warehouse approach.

Any trends that you see are a clear indication of something being wrong, or not working right. There could be a number of reasons, including:

Your challenge now is to identify causes to reduce the frequency of trending injuries.

2.      Conduct a risk assessment

Now you know the most likely injuries in your workplace, you will need to conduct risk assessments for the hazards you uncover. This will help you to identify:

  • Who is at risk
  • What the specific risks are
  • What precautions may be needed

If you have more than five employees, you will need to keep a record of your risk assessments.

3.      Determine the best health and safety practices

Get your employees involved in this – they know their jobs better than anyone. In this step, you are aiming to produce a health and safety policy. Individual areas which you may produce policies for include:

  • Processes and procedures
  • Equipment
  • Hazardous substances
  • Workplace equipment and safety measures (e.g. guards on machines)
  • Personal protective equipment to be worn and used
  • Specific polices for work practices and personal (e.g. no jewellery)

4.      Implement health and safety training

Developing a health and safety policy is one thing, getting it out there and making it work is another. You should implement a training regime to onboard employees in the new workplace practices, educating them so that they more fully understand the hazards in the workplace and their responsibilities to help control them and prevent injuries.

5.      Create awareness

The last step is to create awareness of health and safety issues, so they remain in everyone’s thoughts. Ideas here include:

  • A dedicated slot for discussion during team meetings
  • Posters and fliers alerting and reminding workers of specific hazards
  • Monitoring and assessing progress against previously identified trends
  • Reviewing risk assessments and health and safety policy regularly
  • Encouraging employees to engage with health and safety issues and to report concerns

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It needn’t be. Contact Sentry today to book your free, no-obligation demo and discover an easier way to avoid H&S hazards in the workplace.

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