Workplace safety hasn’t always been a priority. It has evolved over the past 200-300 years, from time when hazardous working conditions were the norm.
Workplace safety hasn’t always been a business priority. It has evolved over the past 200-300 years, from time when hazardous working conditions were the norm. The industrial and now the digital revolution has changed how people work and safety has continually evolved to meet the needs of the modern workplace. Legislation has increased over the years and the workplace is increasingly regulated, meaning that safety is high on the agenda.
While we’ve come a long way, 581,000 people sustained an injury at work over 2018/19 across industries and jobs and 147 lost their lives. This highlights the need to ensure everyone is safe at work, not just those in just high-risk industries or job roles.
Working in any kind of professional workspace carries an element of risk. Lone workers based in isolated areas or parts of a building may be faced with the same hazards as their co-workers, but their remote nature puts them in greater jeopardy should they need immediate attention or support.
This elevates what can seem a fairly ordinary and harmless role into a job that carries an increased threat as the individual is carrying out their responsibilities by themselves without close or direct supervision. An employee working outside of their ‘normal’ hours is far more vulnerable than one working during the day in a busy office space. This could apply in many different situations, such as an employee working in isolation at a fixed establishment such as a petrol station or a social care worker visiting people’s homes.
Employers need to maintain a safe working environment for their workers at all levels and locations within their organisation. Employers must assess the level of risk to each worker and implement systems to ensure all incidents (no matter where they take place) can be responded to quickly and effectively.
There are numerous benefits of investing in the welfare and safety of your staff, so paying maximum attention to their wellbeing will pay dividends:
Safe and healthy workers are a key part of any working environment. Highlighting the importance of health and safety shows that you value your staff, which motivates them to work harder and remain loyal to your business.
Workers that are able to work in safe conditions with minimal exposure to hazards are less likely to suffer work-related injuries or contract illnesses from their counterparts. This will result in a workforce that is able to deliver high-quality work, safe in the knowledge that effective health and safety measures are in place.
Employers also save money on the direct cost of absences, such as paying salaries, as well as the time and expense associated with recruiting and training a new member of staff.
Being able to demonstrate a serious approach to health and safety will help build a positive reputation with your clients and staff and their friends and associates. Paul Jackson, safety adviser at Howarths People and Safety Management, explains that this can be a catalyst for
“increasing sales and generating more leads through a rise in staff morale, output and customer engagement.”
Think about the different methods you could use and which will be most effective - presentations, training on the job, interactive based, etc. Be as creative as you want, but just make sure the end result leaves no stones unturned.
Sadly, accidents at work still happen. For any that do happen, carry out a full investigation and analyse any shortcomings so that policies and procedures can be revised to prevent similar occurrences happening.
Everyone at the company needs to be aware of the planned safety culture - from the office to the factory floor. Keep them involved and up-to-date with ever-changing legislation and encourage them to contribute ideas.
Other considerations could be to promote regular breaks away from a computer or to ensure that all of your workers have the correct tools and equipment to carry out their work. After all, the malfunction of equipment is one of the most common hazardous workplace issues.
Remember, your workers can do more without having to hurdle their way through obstacles or taking the scenic route to avoid any lurking hazards. Get them on your side - they will appreciate any changes you make to their surroundings, especially those that have their health and best interests at heart.
If you run or manage any kind of business, you need to do everything in your power to ensure one and all get home safe and sound at the end of the day.
Fortunately, with the rise of technology and digitisation, ensuring employee safety is becoming easier and more efficient than ever before. Advances in technology mean that employers can ensure their workers are safe, and quickly get help if they are in danger. Tended is excited to be at the forefront of safety technology, developing solutions that are used to improve safety and potentially save lives in industry.