How You Can Save Company Money with Workplace Safety
In 2017/18, there were 3.9 million working days lost as a result of 71,062 workers suffering a non-fatal injury at work. The cost financially in 2016/17 came to £5.2 billion. The widespread impact of work accidents is clear.
If your company has ever dealt with accident at work claims, then you know how costly they can be on every level — not only financially, but in terms of working days lost.
There are so many reasons to ensure you have suitable workplace safety measures in your company then. They can save you and your employees so much in terms of health and money — read on to find out more.
Ensuring you have the correct safety equipment
There were 38 deaths in the construction industry during 2017/18. Agriculture had 29 deaths, and manufacturing suffered 15 fatalities. These industries in particular often require certain safety equipment to abide by health and safety regulations – and wearing the equipment could separate your employees from a near death experience and a non-fatal injury.
In order to avoid head injuries, for instance, hard helmets are expected to be worn on construction sites . If your staff fail to wear the required hard hat, any of those injuries could be a direct cause of not wearing the correct safety equipment. Protective glasses should also be worn by employees that are exposed to debris, dust and bright lights that could damage the employee’s sight.
Other protective clothing items need to be considered too. These include steel toe cap boots, hi-vis clothing, safety gloves and noise cancelling headphones. Implementing a work policy that says your staff are required to wear safety clothing and equipment is the first step to preventing workplace injuries that could lead to fatal deaths or long-term work absences, which cost your company money.
Training employees correctly
Training is invaluable when it comes to risk-reduction. Every employee should be briefed on the safest fire exits around the premises, as well as what the procedure is in case of an emergency. In fact, many premises are permitted to carry out practice fire drills to ensure all members of staff are aware of the routine.
There are more areas to consider than just fire safety though. In the manufacturing industry, which is the third most dangerous environment for fatal injuries in the workplace, some job roles require particular training and qualifications to use machinery. Where hazardous or dangerous machinery is involved, staff must be trained on how to use it – and must use the correct safety equipment and clothing at all times. 135,000 of the 555,000 non-fatal injuries in 2017/18 led to over 7 days of work absence — providing your staff with the appropriate training could save you a big cost seen through a loss of working hours due to workplace injuries.
Some employees may also need specific training for their role. There are processes that will need employees to gain the correct certification to be able to carry them out with reduced risk of injury. For example, in the construction industry, any employee who will be navigating a crane will require a Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS) licence.
Spotting potential new risks or a need to update old processes make internal audits vital. For example, slips, trips and falls caused 31% of non-fatal injuries in the workplace in 2017/18. The main causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are uneven floor surfaces, unsuitable floor coverings, wet floors, changes in levels, trailing cables and poor lighting – all of which can be prevented or marked out safely if the proper regulations are followed. Legally, businesses must follow The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which stipulates that employers must ensure that floor spaces are in good condition and free from obstructions. Furthermore, the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 legally require businesses to provide and display the appropriate safety signs when there is a potential risk too – whether that is a wet floor sign, or signs indicating loose cables or exposed electric cables.
Employers have a duty of care, and it is therefore essential to maintain a high quality of safety measures across the company.