Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

The best ways to create a safer work environment

Creating a safer work environment is paramount for any business, as it not only ensures the well-being of employees but also enhances productivity and profitability. Workplace accidents are not only costly but can also lead to significant disruptions. This article explores the most effective strategies for preventing common workplace injuries and fostering a culture of safety.

Understanding common workplace injuries

To effectively mitigate workplace hazards, you must understand the most common types of injuries. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), 561,000 UK workers suffered non-fatal injuries at work in 2022/23, and the primary causes include:

  1. Slips, trips, and falls: These incidents accounted for 32% of all non-fatal workplace injuries, and they can occur in any workplace – from offices to high-risk environments like construction sites.
  2. Handling, lifting, or carrying: These accidents resulted in 17% of non-fatal injuries. Improper lifting techniques and handling heavy loads are the common issues that increase the risk.
  3. Being struck by a moving object: This type of injury represents 11% of total workplace incidents. It often occurs in environments with heavy machinery or moving vehicles.
  4. Falls from height: This comprises 8% of non-fatal injuries, usually occurring from ladders or elevated platforms.
  5. Acts of violence: Surprisingly, 8% of non-fatal injuries are due to violence, often in customer-facing roles.

Strategies for a safer workplace

Here are some useful strategies you can put in place to help create a safer work environment within your company:

  • Effective safety signage

Safety signs play a crucial role in preventing accidents in the workplace. They should be used in instances when risks cannot be avoided or controlled through other methods.

Signs should be placed at a height that’s eye level or 78 inches high, to ensure they are easily seen. You should also use clear, concise messages with appropriate colours so the hazard can be easily identified by employees.

  • Anti-slip measures

Given that slips, trips, and falls are the most common workplace injuries, anti-slip measures are vital, and you can use certain solutions.

Have anti-slip matting at entrance points to prevent water or mud from being tracked indoors. Also, use anti-slip tape and stair treads to minimise risk in areas prone to slipping.

  • Zone classification

In workplaces with hazardous areas, having effective zoning is crucial. Zones should be clearly marked, and employees should be trained in identifying and knowing the risks associated with each zone. 

Also, regular risk assessments help manage and mitigate hazards and ensure up-to-date safety standards are met.

  • Good housekeeping

Maintaining a tidy work environment can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, and it’s fairly easy to do as a solution.

You can do this through things like having spill cleaning kits readily available to quickly address spills. Also, make sure you clear pathways and store equipment away correctly to ensure there aren’t any tripping hazards around. 

  • Comprehensive training

Put training in place for all your employees, as this is arguably the most critical factor in reducing workplace accidents. 

Effective training programs should include regular refreshers to reinforce safety practices, as well as specific training that focuses on specific hazards of your workplace. On top of that, ensure all employees know how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) properly.

Maintaining a culture of safety

Creating a safer work environment for your employees is not simply a one-time task, but an ongoing effort that’s continuously important. It requires a commitment from both employers and employees to maintain safety standards and ensure the correct procedures are being followed at all times.

Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility, and a culture of safety starts with commitment and education.