Every business dreads the day they get taken to court by an employee who got injured at work. It can be a catastrophe for your business if that happens. That’s why it’s important to make sure you take all the necessary steps to ensure that accidents don’t happen.
Hire a Health & Safety Supervisor
Health and safety workers often have a poor reputation in the workplace. A lot of people see them as being dull and kill-joys. But, the fact of the matter is, they do a very important job. You might not realise the value of everything that they do. That’s because it’s basically their job not to be noticed. As long as things are running smoothly, and accidents aren’t happening, they’re doing their job.
So, if your business doesn’t currently have a health and safety supervisor, you should think about it. They’ll be able to look after the boring things that you probably wouldn’t even think about. This will also free up some time for you to focus on other, equally important areas of your business. There’s a lot to gain from hiring a health and safety worker.
Draft a Policy
Every business needs a clear and concise health and safety policy. It’s not good enough to simply tell people what to do and what not to do. There needs to be a clear policy drafted and published in the office. It should also be available for all your customers to read and refer back to at any time of the day. This is a legal requirement of every employer in the country, so don’t ignore it.
If an incident occurs in your workplace, not having a health and safety policy in place can seriously work against you. The employee taking legal action against you will rightly tell the judge that you outlined no health and safety code. This will make it very difficult, or even impossible, for you to come out of the case with a positive result for your business.
Ask Employees What They See as Being Risks
Before you can properly take action to limit and curb the risks in your workplace, you need to understand what those risks are. You can do this by carrying out a risk assessment. This is when you or your health and safety supervisor looks around the workspace to see what the biggest risks are. This is a good idea, but asking your employees for their feedback and input is vital too.
They are the people that interact with the work environment each day from 9 to 5. So, they know better than anyone else what the major risk factors in the workplace are. You can hold a large team meeting and let everyone speak about the risks that they face on a daily basis. They might even be able to make some suggestions on how conditions could be improved too.
Implement Training Procedures
Training is a vital weapon against workplace injuries. By making sure that your employees know exactly how to do their jobs safely, you reduce the risk of you ever having to face a court case. Fewer injuries means a lower risk of legal action. The training should be tailored to your industry. Focus on the worker’s job and the specific risks and dangers they face as part of their job.
Even if they’re just sitting at a desk for 99% percent of the day, there’s still a risk of them getting injured. You could put in place measures to make sure that desk workers don’t sustain repetitive strain injuries. This could mean buying better chairs for them to sit on and buying foot rests to improve their posture when sitting down.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
There are lots of minor risks in the workplace that not enough business owners take notice of. Simple things like wires trailing across the floors or wet patches on the floor not being signposted. These things all cause injuries that could end in disastrous lawsuits for the business. So, don’t just focus on the large risks, pay attention to the small stuff too.
Radiator and gas heater guards are important too. You don’t want someone to get burnt unnecessarily. They can be bought relatively cheaply, so make the most of them. You should also upgrade your electrical products so that faulty equipment doesn’t cause a fire risk.
Conduct Regular Checks
Health and safety is something that requires constant care and attention. It’s certainly not something that you just pay attention to once and then ignore again. You should conduct regular checks in the workplace. This allows you to see if there are any areas in which you can improve your approach to health and safety.
You should also make changes to your approach if you are still seeing injuries taking place in the workplace. This is a sign that your current approach to health and safety isn’t working. So, it makes sense to think about how you can improve things. It’s a case of looking at the evidence in front of you and translating it into real world changes and improvements.
Give Immediate Help & Attention to Someone When They Get Hurt
Accidents inevitably happen in the workplace. You should do everything you can to stop them from happening. But sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. You can make sure that when someone does get hurt, they’re seen to by a doctor quickly and swiftly – this is definitely something you should be doing.
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to look after anyone who gets hurt on your premises. Especially if you employ them. By acting swiftly and remaining helpful throughout the process, you’ll probably reduce the chance of them thinking about legal action too. So, everyone wins.
By following each of these steps, you’ll make sure that your business stays safe from accident compensation claims. They can cost you a lot of money and potentially ruin your business, so this is an issue you need to take seriously.