Five Rules for a Safer Workplace

June 5, 2014

Workplace safety statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that around 11.6 million working days are lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders every year. With this in mind hundreds of employers are subject to compensation claims on an annual basis and employees simply shouldn’t have to work in environments which lead to this type of disorder.

Of course, some of the lost days are due to genuine injuries which are no fault of the employer but in many instances the injuries come about due to accidents or negligence on the park of the employer. Here we’ve put together five rules to keep in mind for ensuring your workplace is safe.

1.   Check, Check and Check Again

You simply cannot afford to assume your staff know how to operate machinery or complete a certain task. Regular safety training is essential and you should also ensure training is fit for purpose. You need to check and have evidence your employees are trained for their job to avoid being seen as negligent if an accident or injury does occur.

2.   Don’t Ignore Incidents

It’s very easy to keep going with your standard practices and simply ignore things that are slightly awry. If you see something, however small, which doesn’t seem to be in line with health and safety regulations then investigate. The number of working days lost annually is in part due to incidences being ignored or brushed over and the pain and suffering employees go through is also unacceptable. RoSPA believe that for every single major injury there are around 300 near misses and each of these is an opportunity for intervention and risk assessment.


3.   Provide the Right Tools for the Job

As an employer part of your duty of care to your employees is to ensure they have the correct equipment and PPE to work with. Using the wrong tools can result in injuries and accidents as can using tools which are worn or no longer working effectively. All workplace equipment should be ensured to be fit for purpose.

4.   Provide the Time

You may have big deadlines or an important meeting that your employees must attend but this is no excuse for rushing. Rushing work means mistakes are made but is also means the risk of accident is much higher. Cutting corners and making mistakes comprises safety. The few short minutes you may save could result in a major injury and then the added damage of a compensation claim.

5. Make Breaks Mandatory

Employment laws dictates that employees must have rest breaks and as an employer you should enforce these. Without taking breaks employees put themselves at risk of stress, anxiety disorders and depression. All of these mental health conditions can result in elongated time off work and therefore loss of earnings. If it can be proven you weren’t providing adequate rest breaks then this could form part of a compensation claim against you.

No employer wants to lose their employees to accidents or injuries but without the right safeguards in the workplace the risks are high. Lamb & Co regularly work for employees and ex-employees who have been victims of accidents in the workplace or developed illnesses due inadequate working conditions.

photo credit: Rubber Dragon via photopin cc