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How to prevent workplace injuries in your business

Workplace injury and illness remains a huge burden for businesses to bear, with this driving high costs of absenteeism and impacting on productivity across the board.

To put this into some form of context, 1.6 million UK workers were thought to be suffering from a work-related illness in the financial year 2019/20, while a total of 65,427 employee injuries were reported to RIDDOR during the same period.

But what steps can your business take to prevent workplace injuries from diminishing your workforce and driving increased operational costs?

  1. Create and Distribute a Health and Safety Policy

If you employ more than five people in your UK organisation, you’re required by law to develop a written health and safety policy.

While this may be a legal requirement, the creation and distribution of such a policy also provides much-needed reassurance to employees and helps to optimise their trust in your leadership.

But what needs to be included in this type of policy? Firstly, you’ll need to determine how your company intends to manage safety in your workplace, while also outlining your commitment to ensuring employee wellbeing.

This policy should delve into more granular detail, particularly in terms of how you manage specific workplace activities and the individuals who are responsible for ensuring health and safety compliance in the workplace.

  1. Appropriately Train All Employees

In order to guarantee long-term health and safety within any business, employers need to ensure that their staff members are appropriately trained and capable of understanding the importance of maintaining their own wellbeing in the workplace.

To achieve this, employees must be relevantly and frequently trained in health and safety measures, with a view to providing ongoing education that’s tailored to suit their duties and responsibilities.

Not only does this help to ensure that employees are fully aware of the potential dangers in the workplace (particularly those that pertain to their precise roles), but it also creates a sense of individual accountability that permeates throughout the workforce.

This can help to minimise the risk of accident and injury over time, reducing the long-term costs to your business in the process.

  1. Provide Proper Equipment

In certain workplaces (such as factories and construction sites), there’s a requirement for employees to wear various safety garments and retain constant access to proper equipment on a daily basis.

Construction site workers may be required to wear safety boots and hard-hats, for example, while those who work in factories will often have specialised safety equipment or machinery to help them perform their roles effectively.

Make no mistake; it’s your responsibility as an employer to provide such garments and equipment to your staff members, and the failure to do this will leave you accountable for any subsequent accidents or injuries that arise as a result.

In instances where you ask your employees to purchase their own boots for equipment, you’ll need to ensure that the cost of this is fully reimbursed within a reasonable timeframe. To this end, staff members must be empowered to make expense claims and provided with actionable advice as and when required.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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