Accidents at work are responsible for a large percentage of people going sick from the workplace and often could so easily be avoided. Accidents at work cost Employers tens of thousands of pounds every year in sickness and compensation and it is often the case that, with a better knowledge of simple health and safety, many of these accidents might never have needed to have happened!
Due diligence is the key to avoiding accidents at work and this is the sole responsibility of the individual. Before you begin work, you should first look around to make sure your area is safe. You do not need any kind of specialist training for this, all you need to do is use your eyes. Are there any obstacles in your path that can be moved out of your way to avoid trips or falls? Any spills or residue on the floor that have gone unnoticed and is the floor even and safe? Even so much as a cracked floor tile can easily cause an accident and it is as much your responsibility to notice these things as it is your employer. Upon noticing any hazards, you should notify somebody immediately to take the necessary steps whether this be management or just a cleaner to come and clean and mop the floor!
Adopting a Clean as You go Mentality in the Workplace
This is a very important factor that can seriously affect safety in the workplace. If you work untidy and leave a mess everywhere you go, you are going to eventually be responsible for causing an accident at work and it might not be you that ends up getting hurt! Try to work tidy whatever your duties might involve and always remember to clean as you go to minimize causing a potential hazard.
Serving Food and Drink
Food or drink residue can be especially responsible for causing potential hazards so if you spill something, don’t forget to mop it up immediately. Similarly if you are serving food and drink, you also have certain responsibilities. You should make sure that you have plenty of room to move around and that you are not cramped because if you work in limited space, you are more likely to cause an accident or spill. Likewise, if you work in a kitchen for example, you should avoid drinking out of breakable containers such as glasses and instead use plastic beakers etc so that broken glass does not end up in your produce.
Cleaning Responsibilities and Procedures
When it comes to cleaning, everyone has a certain responsibility to help maintain a safe environment! If you spill or drop something, don’t leave it- get it cleaned up immediately even if it means delegating responsibility to get it mopped up by someone else! Your workplace should have clear, concise cleaning protocols in place and these should be observed at all times. You should also be aware of COSHH regulations when using any chemicals to clean and wear the correct safety clothing!
Consider Health and Safety Training for Staff
They say that prevention is better than cure and this is as true for trips and spills as it is anything else. As an Employer, you have a duty to observe and maintain a safe working environment and one way you can do this is to ensure your staff are properly trained. You should have in place policies for all new members in staff to ensure that they receive proper health and safety initiation before starting work and should conduct regular safety briefings to make sure all staff are aware of their own responsibilities. In this way, you can ensure a safer working environment for all!
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Ross Davies writing for Lebreton Health and Safety the leaders in both classroom based and online health and safety training.