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How To Keep Employees Safe At Work 

As an employer, it’s your job to make sure the people working for you are safe while they are on your site. 

This includes making sure they are properly trained, following the right safety precautions, and that you are meeting strict health and safety guidelines.

As the boss, you could be negligent if the staff you employ are not safe to work for you. 

This is why it’s important for everyone who works for you to be aware of all the details – from health and safety regulations to how you should treat each other. 

This article in short aims to provide a guide on how to keep all your employees as safe as possible by giving them clear safety and health guidelines along with information on what they should do when faced with accidents while at work (e.g. first aid, reporting issues etc.). 

What Are The Common Workplace Risks?

Workplace risks are anything that might cause harm or injury to employees or visitors. 

Types of risks include:

  • Slips, trips and falls – this is the number one cause of injuries in the workplace. These can be caused by wet floors, poorly maintained surfaces (e.g., carpet, tiles), and uneven ground (e.g., manholes). 
  • Contact with sharp objects – these include metal tools, glass and broken glass, and equipment like a chainsaw or circular saw, which could rip your clothing open. 
  • Electric shocks – electrical accidents are usually caused by misuse of equipment like faulty wiring in your electronic equipment, not switching off machines before touching them, etc.
  • Burns – industrial machinery, chemicals, and electrical equipment can cause burns to skin, eyes, and other tissues.
  • Fire – accidents caused by fire. This includes fires caused by electrical equipment, gas leaks, and chemicals. 
  • Injuries – any accidental injury resulting in an injury can have profound consequences like the loss of wages, surgery, disability, and even death. 
  • Poisoning – poisoning is a type of accident that affects people working in all kinds of environments. Examples include inhalation of toxic gases and chemicals in the workplace (e.g., cleaning products) and products contaminated with harmful substances (e.g., medicines).

There are many risks that are unique to specific environments and workplaces. 

In your workplace, you need to be aware of the different types of risk involved in your workplace and make sure you are aware of any hazards that might exist. 

Managing Risk

A risk assessment is an objective way to find out what risks may be present in your workplace. 

A good risk assessment identifies potential hazards and evaluates the harm they might cause. 

For example, doing a fire risk assessment might show that there is a serious risk of fire triggered by a dropped cigarette or static electricity in certain areas of your factory. It would be beneficial to get in contact with Industrial Fire TX, or a company that’s more local to you, to install fire protection systems. This is a crucial step for any business to take to ensure the safety of all individuals within the premises.

It’s also advisable to make sure you are equipped with the right safety equipment to minimise risk (e.g., gas masks, protective gloves, etc.). If you operate a lot of machinery, you may also wish to get something like these tagout padlocks that are recommended for 1910.147 of the OSHA standards so that you will be able to secure an area and/or make sure that certain machines can’t be turned on during maintenance, as this could cause a serious hazard for the person carrying out the work.

It’s important to know that risk assessments come in lots of different forms. Taking our fire example from earlier, you may find that this is called a fire risk assessment or “fire safety check” or “fire safety in the workplace” or “fire safety policy” or “fire safety risk assessment“. It doesn’t make it any less important because it comes under a different name.

It is also a good idea to look into getting fire insurance for your business just in case the worst happens.

Providing A Safer Workplace

You need to make sure your staff are aware of the risks they face while at work and where you should be taking precautions. 

If you are considering having a risk assessment, it’s important that you let your staff know what you are doing and why. 

This also helps to raise awareness of safety in the workplace, which is an important part of creating a safe environment for everyone (both employees and visitors). 

If you run a shop, then this might mean putting up signs saying”no smoking”, “Danger: electrical equipment,” or “wet floor warning”. 

If you run a factory or warehouse, you might consider having fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. You may also need door controls for the fire exits. For more on these Click here to read and pick from a possible variety. 

Employment Law And Health & Safety At Work

In most cases, employers have an obligation to ensure their employees’ safety and health. They also have a legal responsibility to make sure their employees are not at risk of suffering from accidents or illness, and to ensure that staff are trained in first aid. All businesses are legally required to have a qualified first aider on site at all times, so if your first aider has just left, you’ll need to look into Skills Training Group’s First aid courses (or courses from elsewhere) to get a new staff member trained up.

In most cases, individuals who have caused an injury to someone else in the workplace can be held liable for the damages caused. 

However, as an employer, you also have your own legal responsibilities to make sure that staff are educated in their safe use of equipment and machinery.