Health and safety at work is a well-known, yet often neglected aspect of running a business.
Whether it's an office or a warehouse, a building site or a laboratory, both employers and employees have a responsibility to be aware of risks that could impact occupational health and safety.
According to HSE statistics, 1.3 million people suffered a work-related illness in Britain in the year 2016/17.
So, what can be done to ensure our workplaces are kept as safe as possible?
(1) Promote a clean working environment.
A clean and safe workplace sets the initial foundation for a successful working environment. Keeping work areas tidy, clearing obstructions, avoiding trailing cables and immediately cleaning up spills or leaks, will help to create a hazard-free workplace. Not only will this protect employees' safety, but it will also contribute to a more productive and motivated team.
(2) Create an open culture of communication.
In workplaces where there is a one-way funnel of communication from managers to employees, workers could be too afraid of speaking out or asking questions. Safety shouldn't be limited to a set of rules. Instead, health and safety should be part of a wider workplace culture, where all employees feel comfortable to voice their opinions and speak out about potential hazards.
(3) Be aware of health and safety regulations.
According to HSE, 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illnesses and workplace injuries in 2016/17. Awareness of workplace safety regulations can lead to the prevention of avoidable accidents that often cause lost working days. By ensuring both employers and employees are mindful of the most up-to-date guidelines, businesses can help to predict what could go wrong, before it happens.
4) See something? Say something.
On average, slips and trips cause almost 40% of all reported minor injuries in the workplace. However, most of these accidents can be prevented by simply recognising hazards and taking steps to reduce risks. In a workplace with an open safety culture, employees will feel comfortable to speak out when they see a problem, such as an obstruction, loose cables, or uneven flooring.
(5) Ensure all employees are aware of their responsibilities.
Employers are legally obligated to perform a risk assessment and provide a safe working environment for all staff. However, employees also have a responsibility to safeguard their own health. Becoming aware of hazards, refusing to take unnecessary risks and abiding by safety regulations will all increase the likelihood of good occupational health and safety.
(6) Make important health and safety information easily accessible.
A brilliant way to remind employees about the latest safety regulations is to clearly display important information. At Daydream Education, we have a brand new range of colourful and engaging Health and Safety posters that will help to ensure your employees know what to do in a workplace emergency, and are aware of occupational risks, hazards and symbols.
Health and safety plays a significant role in the functioning of a successful workplace. Employers and employees should adopt a proactive attitude toward workplace safety, to ensure both the safeguarding of staff and the efficiency of the business itself.
If you would like to order any of our Health and Safety posters, or if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.