Home Insights & Advice Workplace safety mistakes and how to avoid them

Workplace safety mistakes and how to avoid them

by John Saunders
14th Mar 19 10:10 am

Creating a safe workplace is the responsibility of every business. Aside from meeting the safety requirements set by the government, companies need to take a more proactive approach in creating and maintaining a safe workplace.

While there are plenty of resources to help businesses create a safe work environment, the number of accidents happening in workplaces across the country is still relatively high. This is due to some common mistakes being made by businesses, either unknowingly or deliberately in an attempt to reduce costs.

These common mistakes can be easily identified and avoided. To help you create a safer workplace for your employees, here are the common mistakes to look out for and how to avoid them.

Unsafe electricity and gas installation

A lot of businesses still tamper with the electricity or gas installation despite multiple warnings and a wealth of resources on the dangers. Bypassing meters in an attempt to save money is never a good idea, especially when you consider the risks associated with making such a mistake.

To create a safe work environment, it is imperative that you avoid this practice entirely. Proper electrical and gas systems are still the right way to go in the long run. When these systems are installed properly, you can also avoid operational interruptions which cost more than what you save.

Tampering with meters is not just risky for the business that does it. If you operate near a business that bypasses their gas or electrical meters to cut costs, your business is at risk too. Taking steps to report this type of energy crime is a must.

The company Stay Energy Safe lets you report these crimes anonymously. You can report meter cheating through the provided hotline or online via stayenergysafe.co.uk. Since the report is completely anonymous, you also don’t have to worry about retaliations.

Complex safety policies

It is one thing to go the extra mile in order to create a safe work environment, and another to overcomplicate your safety policies. Sure, you want comprehensive safety policies in place, but it is also important to make sure that workers can understand those policies perfectly.

What you want to do is use the existing regulations as a starting point. Find out more about safety regulations that apply to your industry or your specific business and start documenting the requirements that need to be met.

Once this step is completed, formulating a set of policies to meet those requirements will be easier. You can avoid policies that overlap with each other; you will end up with safety policies that are not only concise, but effective as well.

The last part of the process is simplifying your safety policies. The comprehensive, complex safety document is best reserved for inspections and reviews. For workers, you want clear bullet points, straightforward instructions, and a clear reward and consequence mechanism.

Going with the bare minimum

As mentioned before, complying with safety regulations alone is not enough. While the requirements set by regulations are much better and more comprehensive today, they still represent the minimum safety requirements that you have to meet.

In some cases, those minimum requirements are not enough to protect your workers and business assets. Rather than meeting the minimum requirements, strive for a truly safe work environment by taking extra steps on your own.

Safety training is a classic example of this mistake. You can meet the requirements by providing employees with basic safety training, but basic training alone is not enough. There will be situations that employees cannot handle due to the lack of more specific training.

Once again, going the extra mile is the solution. Providing mission-critical employees with more training and boosting their safety skills in the process creates a much safer environment. Employees will have the knowledge they need to deal with different emergencies effectively.


The last, but perhaps the most common mistake we are going to review in this article, is the lack of key employees being put in charge of safety policies and their implementation. Relying on mid- to top-level management and executives is not enough.

Employees are the ones working in the environment. They face risks and come into contact with challenges first-hand, which means they have more knowledge about those risks and how to best handle them.

Choose key employees and let them be in charge of the safety of your work environment. These Persons in Charge, or PICs, should have more safety training and must understand the safety policies of the company perfectly.

In the event of a workplace accident or a disaster, PICs will be the ones other workers turn to for instructions. Having skilled PICs makes all the difference; even workers who haven’t received their safety training can get clear instructions of what to do in the event of an emergency.

Safety is an important element of any work environment. Providing workers with a safe environment to operate in helps the business too. With these common mistakes avoided, you can continue to create a safe environment for your business operations.

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