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Workplace health and safety is a top priority. An injury could cost you thousands in lawsuits and higher insurance premiums, not to mention potentially damaging your reputation. Here are just five ways in which you can make your workplace a safer environment and prevent future injuries.
Make wearing health and safety equipment mandatory
In many roles, health and safety equipment is legally required to be supplied but not legally required to be worn. This could include anything from fall protection equipment to chemical protection gear. Make sure that you’re not simply advising people to wear this equipment – make it mandatory to wear it. This way you won’t have people refusing to wear equipment because ‘it doesn’t look cool’ – by making a part of your company uniform you have permission to dismiss anyone that isn’t wearing it.
Use signage to point out hazards
You can also use warning signs to notify your employees of hazards, no matter how obvious they may seem. This can help to catch your employees’ attention and make them more aware of the dangers around them as well as offering you added legal protection. Such signs could include a ‘caution hot water’ sign above a tap or a ‘mind you head’ above a low framed doorway.
Provide thorough training
Many injuries can be prevented by hammering home the importance of health and safety protocol during training. If you’re teaching someone to use a machine, don’t just tell them and show them what to do – get them to demonstrate using the machine so that you know they’ve understood the information you’re telling them. If you’re leaving someone else in charge of training, make sure that they’re providing the thorough training that is needed. Training manuals can also be handy to supply for reference if someone has forgotten the correct health and safety procedure and needs a reminder.
Take steps against RSIs
Not all injuries are the result of a single accident. Companies are now increasingly finding themselves liable for repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) – they are injuries sustained over a long period from a repeated action. Research into ways of preventing these RSIs whether it’s providing ergonomic chairs for those working desk jobs or introducing a correct motion when lifting a box or operating a machine to minimize damage.
Book a professional health and safety audit
Not all hazards are immediately obvious – it could be beneficial to hire a professional health and safety inspector who can do an audit and identify any hidden dangers. Such professionals can advise you on any extra measures that your company could take to reduce the risk of injury. Such an audit is worth doing before you hire you first employees, however you can carry out an audit at any time. These are different from government body health and safety inspections in that they are optional and you won’t get fined for any health and safety weaknesses that are found.