Accidents happen. They are unpreventable. However, we can take measures to minimise the risk of personal injuries at home and in the workplace.
At home, keeping all areas well-lit and maintaining a clean and tidy house are the keys to preventing personal injuries. When walking the street, maintaining concentration and (to put it bluntly) watching where we are going is usually enough to see us safely to our destination. In the workplace, however, things get a little trickier.
Under the law, all employers are responsible for health and safety management and they must take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees.
HSE enforce strict guidelines for employers that must be followed. Most of the time, these are followed, and accidents rarely occur. However, lapses in health and safety enforcement can result in personal injury, or worse, they can result in death and corporate manslaughter charges can be brought against the company. Hazards in the workplace include:
- Entrapment: This is where a part or parts of the body are caught in the moving parts of a machine, or a door or drawer;
- Entanglement: This when hair, clothing or jewellery gets caught in a machine and the person is sucked into it, causing serious injury;
- Impact: This is where an employee might fall from height or slip, trip or fall, or when a worker is crushed by a machine.
There are many other hazards in the workplace. The best way employers can prevent personal injuries is to ensure all employees are trained to do their jobs properly, and have all the necessary equipment available to them to do their jobs. For instance, if workers are forced to lift heavy objects manually, they should really have mechanical lifting equipment made available to them. Workers should also operate in a working culture that values health and safety, and the latest legislation and guidelines should be enforced always.
At Accident Advice Helpline, for example, thousands of workplace-based personal injury claims are processed every year (click here to find out more about AAH). The reason so many injury claims are made, is because it wasn’t the worker’s fault they were injured. It was the employer’s fault, and as a result, the best advice one can give an employer who is looking to prevent personal injuries is to take all necessary measures to protect their employees in the workplace and off site, when they are working for the company.
It is recommend that all employers understand their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.You can access all current legislation at legislation.gov.uk. It might also be valuable to hire a third-party expert to review your health and safety enforcement.