How to Improve the Safety of Employees in the Workplace?

No matter what line of business you’re in,
the safety of employees in the workplace should always be the primary concern. Statistics
show that 147
people were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/19, while the Labour
Force Survey estimates that, in 2017/18, there were 555,000 injuries that were
suffered at work.

Thankfully, these numbers are showing a decline
over recent years as businesses and employees alike take a more careful and regulated
approach to safety, but how can we ensure this downward trend continues?

Why is safety so important?

Essentially, nothing is more critical than
a person’s health and wellbeing, which is why businesses are being provided
with increasingly stringent guidelines on safety protocols within the
workplace. Avoiding accidents altogether – or at least keeping them to the
absolute bare minimum – helps to improve employee morale, increases
productivity and boosts a firm’s reputation.

As well as having a potentially detrimental
effect on an employee’s mental and physical health, workplace accidents can
also cause significant financial and legal issues for the company, if they were
to face court action on account of being liable for any injuries sustained by
their workers.

Which sectors are directly exposed to
risks?

Those industries most prone to accidents
are agriculture, construction and manufacturing, which between them accounted
for 88 of the 147 workplace fatalities in 2018/19. That’s because being
employed within these sectors often entails working at great heights or with vehicles
and heavy machinery, which significantly increases the risk of being involved
in an accident.

How can you protect your employees and
your business?

There are numerous ways to increase
employee safety within the workplace, including:

  • Training:
    By ensuring all levels of staff are adequately
    trained and are familiar with safety guidelines, you will increase their
    chances of being able to spot potential incidents before they occur, thus
    improving the protection of themselves and those around them.
  • Insurance:
    If, for example, you operate within the building
    sector, the likes of Arthur J.
    Gallagher provide a range of construction insurance designed to protect
    both your company and the interests of your employees.
  • Communication:
    Keeping your employees abreast of any changes to
    the safety guidelines will ensure they are familiar with all the latest
    protocols. Similarly, encouraging a self-policing culture, where workers
    identify and report potential safety risks among themselves and to superiors, will
    help to mitigate against any further problems.
  • Equipment:
    Providing all staff with adequate safety gear is
    also paramount. Whether that be in the form of hard hats, gloves,
    high-visibility clothing or anything else, your employees must feel comfortable
    in their level of protection while on the job.