We spend at least a third of our life at work (or working, if you are self-employed or work remotely), so it’s only natural to want it to be a safe, motivating environment. And still, according to RIDDOR and Labour Force Survey, in the 2018/19 reporting year, there were around 650,000 workplace injuries in Great Britain.
Of course, due to harsh regulations and increased safety measures, the number is a lot smaller than it used to be. However, work injuries still happen and they are costly for both the employees and the business.
And since the employer bears the responsibility of creating a safe environment, you also need to invest in high-quality first aid at work courses (mandatory and optional). These will help make employees aware of any hidden risks and will teach them how to control a chaotic situation.
Overall, when people know what to do, there’s usually less panic and the damages are minimal in case of an accident. Therefore, the best course of action is to analyze the workspace in your organization and find ways to prevent an accident before it even has a chance to happen. For this, you need to know the most common causes of work accidents in the UK.
#1: Slipping and Tripping
People slip and trip, that’s a fact of life. However, it is usually not life- or health-threatening since you don’t have dangerous objects around or you’re not on a high altitude platform. But things change if you work with machinery, on scaffolding, or working with sharp objects.
In this case, it’s the employer’s (legal) responsibility to run regular risk assessments and identify situations that may lead to slip or trip injuries. Once identified, you have to decide the suitable measures that will control and prevent this issue.
#2: Back Pain or Injury
This type of injury is quite common in workers who are in front of a computer all day or workers who have to bend and pick up things on a regular basis. Back pain can be sudden or can develop in time after years of bad posture while working.
In this case, the employer can find ways to encourage good posture (ergonomic chairs, standing desks, frequent breaks, and so on), provide machines that do the lifting and carrying of heavy loads, and more.
#3: Hit by a Moving Object
Whether it’s a warehouse or an office, there’s always the risk of poorly positioned objects falling on workers. And this shows that being hit by a moving object is one of the most common causes of workplace accidents.
If possible, it’s best to avoid the possibility of heavy/sharp objects falling from heights. If not possible, invest more in securing objects placed on high shelves or in cupboards. Also, if your employees work with trolleys or pallet stackers, make sure they have the required securities in place.
#4: Fall from Height
This type of injury is fatal in around 26% of cases, and it’s usually caused by the person slipping while climbing a ladder. Of course, there are other causes, but ladders carry the highest risk.
This type of accident tends to happen when people are in a hurry or when proper safety measures are ignored. So, besides making sure people have the right level of equipment, check their working rhythm. If people are rushed, it’s best to set the rhythm back a bit.
Rushed work, lack of attention and awareness, and fatigue often lead to workplace accidents that can be quite serious if there’s machinery around. So make sure to check out these tips to avoid workplace accidents when there’s machinery involved and don’t skip your risk assessments!