Home Business Insights & Advice Workplace safety: what businesses should focus on

Workplace safety: what businesses should focus on

by John Saunders
25th Apr 19 4:07 pm

The subject of work safety is an important one. Various UK ISO standards relate to health & safety with companies responsible for providing a safe work environment for all employees. It depends on the type of industry the company operates in as to how difficult that is to attain and maintain. For instance, on building sites, the number of days without an incident is usually shown to demonstrate the building company’s commitment to its workforce. Here are some thoughts on what businesses should focus on workplace safety.

Keep the feet safe

Keeping employees’ feet safe from harm is important. For people who work in locations where they’re at risk from a falling box or another incident where something could land on their feet or toes, then wearing safety trainers is a good idea. engelbert strauss has an excellent range choose from and you can find essential safety trainers here.

Their safety trainer footwear meets the EN ISO 20345 safety standard. The engelbert strauss safety trainers UK provisioned include a protective steel toe cap, a sole that handles petrol or other fuel sources on the ground, a non-slip sole, and offers antistatic protection too. Their work trainers are designed to be comfortable and suitable for a full day’s use too.

Provide safety training

Companies should provide safety training to all new employees. There should also be a procedure set up to re-train staff periodically with a refresher course and when safety guidelines have been meaningfully updated.

Training can be general for rules about workplace conduct. This might include using caution when walking down the stairs or looking for lift malfunctions where the doors open but with an empty lift shaft ahead. Simple concepts like always walking, never running, are still worth reminding all staff.

Cleaning up spills of liquids or food items immediately is important. Also, putting up a sign to alert other employees or office visitors to a wet area on the office carpet and alerting the office manager are all worth reiterating too.

Customised job-specific safety training

There should also be separate safety training for different jobs. This mostly applies to people who work in areas or in roles that carry additional risk, e.g. working in a warehouse, with heavy equipment, etc.

Safety training might include the wearing of protective clothing or eyewear and how to use them properly. It could also run through how to operate certain machinery or deal with chemicals in a safe manner.

When it comes to safety, never assume that people who’ve worked in a similar role at another company know what they’re doing when it comes to both their own and other people’s safety. They may think they are working safely, but the training elsewhere could be inadequate, leaving out important details, or they may have forgotten half of what was covered.

Hire well to avoid complications

One aspect of hiring well that gets overlooked is recruiting conscientious people who are detail-oriented.

Someone who tends to be absentminded, accident-prone or a little spacey is a risk not only to themselves but anyone around them. Employees who have these qualities tend to get into more accidents at work both directly and indirectly.

Be proactive as an employer

Being proactive instead of only reactive as an employer is very important when it comes to safety concerns.

Staff must be provided with appropriate safety shoes, safety glasses, helmets, tethers or safety lines, as needed. Backup replacements should always be available to replace any damaged safety items. Anyone who should be using or wearing safety gear and is not doing so must face serious consequences to drive home the importance of safety and their responsibility both to themselves and their co-workers.

Add highly visible signs in appropriate places covering different aspects of health and safety in the workplace. Use the signs to remind workers about what they must and/or must not do. In places where a helmet must be worn, add a sign for that. Remind people using the WCs about hand hygiene with a “Please wash your hands” sign too.

Don’t forget about the machinery

Properly maintaining the equipment used on the job is relevant too. Unmaintained equipment goes wrong more often. When it malfunctions, it can do so in damaging or dangerous ways. It may also cause an employee to want to investigate what happened to the machinery and risk their safety into the bargain.

Avoid these situations by creating scheduled maintenance for all equipment used in the workplace. Keep records of what maintenance was performed and when to confirm the right actions were taken.

There are many aspects to workplace safety that companies must review and take care of. However, it’s not that difficult or time-consuming to sort out. One employee can handle the responsibility alongside their other work tasks while a health and safety review is ongoing.

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