Workplace injuries take a negative toll on businesses and employees alike. Whilst it may be impossible to avoid injuries entirely, it is important to put some strategies in place to reduce the likelihood of them occurring. We have put together our top 10 tips that you should implement to make your workplace as safe as possible.
1. Keep your workplace clean and tidy
It is important to keep your work environment tidy and clean. Hazards should be addressed promptly as spills, trips, and falls can cause serious injuries. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees to keep your workplace clean and clear of clutter with adequate walking space. You should dedicate an area for cleaning supplies and implement good hygiene practices within your business.
2. Provide thorough and ongoing training
Before an employee starts work for you, it is essential that they are qualified for the position or you provide thorough training on how to do the job. This includes providing education on how to use equipment that is required and explaining the safety measures that you have in place. You can reduce the likelihood of injuries substantially by providing ongoing training to your employees. Courses such as OHS, fire, and manual handling training should be done regularly.
3. Ensure your team have the proper equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, aprons, and helmets should be supplied to your staff if required and you should educate them on how to use them correctly. Ensure that your team has the suitable tools to do their job safely and correctly. Purchase quality machinery and supplies and maintain them regularly.
4. Have sufficient staffing levels
Understaffing drastically increases the risk of injury to your employees. Employees that are run off their feet due to a lack of staff are much more likely to make mistakes that can be hazardous. Overworked employees are likely to cut corners to meet their workload, making them vulnerable to injuries. Ensure you have enough staff on for the amount of work required, especially in peak periods or holidays. It is not only detrimental to your staff’s health but also your business.
5. Avoid taking shortcuts
Taking shortcuts to get work done promptly can result in an accident occurring. Make sure your staff is allocated adequate time to complete their work and ensure you provide clear instructions on what needs to be done. Most accidents happen from staff rushing and taking short cuts when completing work that they are confident doing.
6. Ensure that you post adequate signage
Safety signs are essential in any work environment. They are used to remind employees of safety precautions and procedures that are in place and to make visitors/customers aware of any hazards or dangers that may occur in the work environment. It is a good idea to place safety signs in areas where certain procedures are to be undertaken to reiterate the measures that are in place.
7. Report near misses and hazards
Encourage your employees to report any “near misses” and the hazards they come across. They are just as vital as reporting incidents. They allow the employer to put strategies in place before a foreseeable danger can cause harm or an accident.
8. Maintain and inspect company vehicles regularly
Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology claims that work-related road crash injuries cost employers an average of 500 million a year and contribute to more than 54% of workplace fatalities. It is imperative that your work vehicles if you have any, are inspected monthly and repaired promptly.
9. Monitor safety measures often
Once your team has completed the necessary training, take every opportunity to reinforce the safety measures that are in place. A great time to do this is at ongoing staff training and meetings. Safety measures should be updated on a regular basis to ensure everyone is working in a safe environment. Ask the staff for feedback regarding additional safety measures that they think could be implemented to improve safety.
10. Research safety vulnerabilities within your field of expertise
Many businesses evolve over time and its important that your safety measures are in line with your business. Each trade has varying safety concerns and to minimize the risk of injury in your workplace, research the most common injuries sustained in your field. Put in extra measures to avoid these from happening.
Data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that each year more than 500,000 people fall victim to work-related injury or illness. As a result, it costs more than 34 billion dollars. Additionally, research conducted by Safe Work Australia claims that work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths impose both direct costs and indirect costs on employers, workers, and the community.
Every business should take advantage of the Work Safe Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program. It is a government-based incentive that has been designed to prevent and manage workplace injuries. It’s free for all Queensland employers that have a Work Cover Queensland policy in place, regardless of the size or maturity of the business. In conjunction with your IPaM advisor, you can put together a plan of action that is catered to your workplace.
Safety is good for business
It is important to put safety measures in place to reduce the risk of accidents and illnesses. Injuries can be frightening for all involved and a minor injury can turn into a big one if it is not treated promptly. Encourage your staff to get involved in safety conversations and update your safety measures regularly. A healthy and safe workplace lowers costs, staff turnover, and increases productivity. It also boosts staff attendance and morale. The steps you take now will determine the likelihood of accidents occurring in the future. Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment. If you have any questions regarding safe work practices, give our expert team here at South East Injury Lawyers a call today, we are more than happy to assist.