No matter what line of business you’re in, the safety of employees in the workplace should always be the primary concern. Statistics show that 147 people were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/19, while the Labour Force Survey estimates that, in 2017/18, there were 555,000 injuries that were suffered at work.
Thankfully, these numbers are showing a decline over recent years as businesses and employees alike take a more careful and regulated approach to safety, but how can we ensure this downward trend continues?
Why is safety so important?
Essentially, nothing is more critical than a person’s health and wellbeing, which is why businesses are being provided with increasingly stringent guidelines on safety protocols within the workplace. Avoiding accidents altogether – or at least keeping them to the absolute bare minimum – helps to improve employee morale, increases productivity and boosts a firm’s reputation.
As well as having a potentially detrimental effect on an employee’s mental and physical health, workplace accidents can also cause significant financial and legal issues for the company, if they were to face court action on account of being liable for any injuries sustained by their workers.
Which sectors are directly exposed to risks?
Those industries most prone to accidents are agriculture, construction and manufacturing, which between them accounted for 88 of the 147 workplace fatalities in 2018/19. That’s because being employed within these sectors often entails working at great heights or with vehicles and heavy machinery, which significantly increases the risk of being involved in an accident.
How can you protect your employees and your business?
There are numerous ways to increase employee safety within the workplace, including:
- Training: By ensuring all levels of staff are adequately trained and are familiar with safety guidelines, you will increase their chances of being able to spot potential incidents before they occur, thus improving the protection of themselves and those around them.
- Insurance: If, for example, you operate within the building sector, the likes of Arthur J. Gallagher provide a range of construction insurance designed to protect both your company and the interests of your employees.
- Communication: Keeping your employees abreast of any changes to the safety guidelines will ensure they are familiar with all the latest protocols. Similarly, encouraging a self-policing culture, where workers identify and report potential safety risks among themselves and to superiors, will help to mitigate against any further problems.
- Equipment: Providing all staff with adequate safety gear is also paramount. Whether that be in the form of hard hats, gloves, high-visibility clothing or anything else, your employees must feel comfortable in their level of protection while on the job.