Workplace injuries can present themselves in a variety of ways, whether it be a falling over loose cables in the office, trapping your hand in faulty machinery or suffering psychological illness as a result of an excessive workload.
Your employer owes you a duty of care which means they must take steps to ensure your safety at work. Most employers will initially carry out Risk Assessments to enable them to identify any risk within the workplace and then take steps to reduce anything that may present a danger to their employees. Typical examples of reducing risks are: -
Securing loose cables or purchasing cable tidies to conceal cable crossing floors
Regularly inspecting and maintaining machinery
Providing a uniform or personal protective equipment
If you suffer an accident at work, it isn’t automatically your employer’s fault. There is an onus on all employees to take certain steps to ensure their own safety, after all it’s always better to avoid an injury that to be forced to make a claim at a later date.
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
People’s work activities differ greatly from one workplace to another but regardless of what your job entail, you must always pay attention to the task that you are carrying out and the area you are moving in. If you have total awareness of your surroundings, you might just save yourself from the possibility of an injury. Apply this principle where you go and always watch out for safety signs.
2. Use Tools and Machinery Correctly
Tools and machinery have helped people make their work a lot easier but as useful as they can be, they are also dangerous in any given situation; hence, they should never be abused or used carelessly.
If you are working with machinery, use it correctly – don’t take shortcuts! Be mindful of whatever it is you are doing and stay alert to your surroundings.
More importantly, when working with tools and/or machines, do not rush things. Remember that your life is more precious than saving a minute or two on a task.
3. Always Wear the Correct PPE
Safety equipment can vary considerably from earplugs and hardhats to gloves and boots but they all have one thing in common - these items are all designed to provide protection against injury.
Most employers will have already carried out an assessment of what PPE is required in your workplace and have supplied you with such items at the start of your employment - it is vital you wear them. If you haven’t been provided with PPE but feel that the job you do requires it then contact your manager about your concerns. It may well be that you have spotted a risk that hasn’t previously been considered.
4. Alert Others
If you notice a hazard in the workplace, whether it’s a trailing cable across a walkway or a damaged piece of equipment, raise it with your health and safety officer and/or a manager. If they aren’t aware of the issue, they can’t do anything about it!
If you are unsure as to how to carry out an aspect of your job safely, check your training manual before you commence the task. It may seem like an arduous task but those extra few minutes familiarising yourself with the manual could prevent a lengthier and ultimately unpleasant trip to A&E.
We understand that not all accident can be avoided but if you follow these tips whilst at work you will reduce your exposure to a potential injury claim.
If you have any queries about health and safety in the workplace, whether as an employer or an employee, contact Claire Myatt or Katie Baker on 01492 588200.
Nelson Myatt Solicitors LLP Suite 6, Conwy Business Centre
Llandudno Junction, Conwy, LL31 9XX