The importance of workplace safety and how it can save your business money

It’s no secret that injuries that occur within the workplace can cost businesses money. Although this will not always be a direct cost — such as the damage of equipment — it can come in the forms of reduced working days or injury claims made on behalf of your employees.

This is something that has been going on in workplaces across the country for years. In 2016/17, there were 137 work-related fatalities. As well as this, there were 92 members of the public killed as a direct result of work—related injuries. However, when we look back further, 2015/16 witnessed 0.6 million workers encountering a non-fatal injury which led to 4.5 million days out of work for the country.

These types of accidents aren’t cheap either. Reports from 2014/15 went on to suggest that injuries in the workplace cost £4.8 billion. But, did you know that £2.8 billion was billed to the employers? This does not include potential personal injury workplace claims.

Health and safety in the workplace has never been more important — and it’s not just to reduce the costs. True Solicitors takes a look at what companies across the country can do to improve safety standards, and prevent any further risks which in turn will help to reduce the number of accident at work claims.

The importance of safety equipment

You’ve probably guessed that the construction industry experiences the highest number of workplace injuries and fatalities. Figures dating back to 2016/17 discovered that there were 30 deaths in this sector alone. Moving away from construction followed agriculture with 27 deaths and manufacturing with a total of 19 deaths.

Although all businesses are required to follow health and safety regulations, people working in these industries are often required to be more cautious. With this in mind, PPE equipment is commonly worn to prevent both injuries and death.

For example, when it comes to working in the construction industry, most people are required to wear a hard helmet. Inevitably, this prevents any injury to the head which could occur on site. As well as this, protective glasses are commonly worn which lessens the risk of damage to the eyes.

Other protective equipment can include:

  • High-visibility clothing
  • Steel to cap boots
  • Safety gloves
  • Noise cancelling headphones

 

The importance of training your team

Successful candidates must have the right qualifications to carry out the day-to-day duties on the job in most industries. Once they’ve begun working for a company, they’re often required to have some level of training that will undoubtedly enhance their performance and allow them to understand the company better.

For example, each staff member should be briefed on the fire exits around the site and how to cope in a state of an emergency — for example, where to gather upon evacuation. Most businesses will carry out regular fire drills to ensure that people are prepared in the event of a genuine emergency.

Some jobs will require a worker to have certain qualifications to deal with certain machinery. The manufacturing industry, which is the third most dangerous working environment for fatal injuries, is a prime example. This requirement transcends across many different sectors.

An insight to the UK’s safety regulations

Interestingly, one of the greatest causes of non-fatal injuries comes from slips and trips. This is often the result of uneven and wet floors, trailing cables and poor lighting — which is something that should be highlighted by the use of safety signs.

From a legal standpoint, companies in the UK must abide by the The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which informs employers that they must ensure that floor spaces are in good condition and free from obstructions.

With this legislation, businesses must use safety signs. This is something that can reduce risk in the workplace can include wet floor signs, or signs indicating loose cables or exposed electric cables.

You can’t put a price on safety — but a safe environment to work will undoubtedly save your business money.

Sources

http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1516.pdf?pdf=hssh1516

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