For small businesses, workplace accidents are something that would ideally be avoided at all costs. Not only can they cause physical stress for the person who has been injured, but an accident within the workplace can also have stressful repercussions for everyone involved.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe for your employees, identifying and reducing the possibility of accidents and injuries occurring.
Unfortunately, accidents happen a lot more than businesses would like to admit. And a lot of the time, these could have been avoided by having the correct procedures in place.
As a company that specialises in providing health and safety advice for small businesses, we’ve put together some of our most important tips and advice for preventing injuries in the workplace.
What Do We Mean by A Workplace Accident?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines an accident at work as being “an event that results in injury or ill health”. This could be referring to a variety of different sudden and unexpected circumstances that can lead to an injury taking place.
However, the most common causes of injuries in the workplace include the following.
Slips, Trips, and Falls – Slips, trips, and falls tend to be the most frequently occurring and reported workplace accident, mainly because they can happen in any environment, such as in a factory, shop, or office. These types of accidents can lead to strains and fractures.
Handling and Lifting – Injuries from lifting and handling often happen due to incorrect or inefficient training. Injuries generally affect the neck and upper limbs (e.g., wrists), lower limbs (knees), or the back.
Falling Objectives – Being struck by a falling object is the most common in warehouse environments. Objects can fall and cause nasty injuries in any working environment that has shelves or cupboards.
Falls from Heights – Falling from a height can often be a life-changing accident that has serious repercussions for not just the victim but the employers too. As an employer, it’s essential to have the proper, most up-to-date safety training and equipment.
What Do the Statistics Say?
Looking at the latest ‘Health and Safety at work’ national statistics released for 2021, 441,000 people sustained a non-fatal injury at work in 2020/2021.
- 33% of these injuries were caused by slips, trips, and falls on the same level
- 18% from handling and lifting accidents
- 10% from being struct by a moving object
- 8% fell from a height
From the different industries included in the report, agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, accommodation, food service activities, and wholesale and retail trade had “statistically significantly higher injury rates than for all industries.”
How Can You Reduce Risks for Your Employees?
Identify Potential Hazards
Before you start to put health and safety measures in place within your workplace, it’s important to first identify the potential safety hazards that exist. The most effective way of doing this is to carry out an extensive risk assessment that will help and minimise any potential risks within your premises. A good risk assessment will identify hazards, outline who is potentially at risk of them, and provide a plan for reducing the chance of any accidents happening.
Put up Clear Signage
Once you’ve highlighted an area of risk within your workplace, we recommend clearly identifying and marking these spaces with clear signage. This should warn people of potential hazards which should hopefully reduce the chance of injuries happening. You will need to ensure that all employees are aware and understand what each sign means.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to provide adequate health and safety training for all employees.
We specialise in bespoke health and safety services, providing consultations and training for your specific business requirements – a wide range of training courses that can be carried out at your premises or at our site. Covering the entire South West of England, London, Essex, Kent, and East Sussex, we specialise in a number of training courses, including first aid and working at height.
Regular Review of Health & Safety Policies
It’s not enough to just carry out health and safety assessments once and then rely on the fact this will still be the same further down the line. It’s important that as an employer, you carry out regular reviews of all your policies and risk assessments to ensure they are up to date and still valid.
As well as identifying and reducing the risk of accidents occurring in your workplace by offering health and safety training in London or competent person services, it’s also a good idea to keep a good, detailed record of any accidents that do take place. Not only will this show your employees that you care about their wellbeing, but it will also allow you to recognise where accidents are happening so that you can avoid them in the future.
If your business would benefit from any of our services, or you have any further questions not answered in our article, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and find out more about how we can help with services like our CDM consultancy in London.