Ways to prevent accidents and injuries at work

Ways to prevent accidents and injuries at work

This article is in partnership with Smiths Lawyers.

Workplace accidents happen quite often. Various hazards and risks put a worker's life in danger, especially when working at heights, near electricity or in any area where they might be exposed to hazardous materials.

It is the employer's job to ensure that every worker is protected and is given workers compensation. Usually, claiming this monetary benefit is a little bit difficult, which is why you need to make sure that you are approaching your employer with a professional such as Smith Lawyers who can make a claim on your behalf.

However, this doesn't mean that an employer does not have other responsibilities. They need to have a plan of action in place and regularly practise escape drills to ensure that all employees know what to do in an emergency.

One of the most important things that employers need to do is create a control hierarchy, which lists the least and most effective safety methods. Here's how this hierarchy should be implemented:

  • Elimination: Physically remove the hazard
  • Substitution: Replace the hazard
  • Engineering Controls: Isolate people from the hazard
  • Administrative Controls: Change the way people work
  • PPE: Protect the worker with Personal Protective Equipment

The role of employers

While an employee is responsible for not being too alert at their worksite, the employer should make sure that their workers are protected at all costs. Your old employees will know exactly where the problem areas lie. Get their input to create a plan that is foolproof and covers every base of the workplace.

There are some rules an employee should demand that their employers put in place for safety. These include:

  • Discourage risky behaviour
  • Review procedures and policies according to the growth of the business
  • Provide adequate training
  • Perform regular inspections
  • Supervise employees
  • Offer physical and mental support
  • Provide protection equipment
  • Research safety vulnerabilities
  • Inspect equipment and company vehicles

A responsibility that any employer should not neglect is to provide their employees with adequate training relevant to the industry they work in. This ensures that employees will know how to do their job safely and efficiently.

The role of employees

As an employee, you too have some responsibilities, and that is working with a clear mind. Following are a couple of tips on how to avoid workplace accidents:

Limit manual lifting and handling

If you are tasked with lifting heavy objects, make sure to follow the system. Use the right tools to handle and operate equipment in a safe manner. When handling hazardous material, wear PPE and ensure you are not being distracted during work or transport.

Avoid falls and slips

From clutter in the hallway to damaged flooring, remind the clean-up and construction crew to clear the area and fix anything broken. In winter, inform the supervisor about the blocked pathways to avoid getting stuck in the snow. Claims that arise from falls and slips are usually the ones that are hard to win, so get a professional such as Smith Lawyers to fight for you.

Know where the first-aid kit is

There should be multiple first aid kits in every department and the factory. The first aid kits will help when an employee gets into an accident, and they can be given basic medical treatment until the ambulance arrives. Every second counts; one delay could mean the difference between life and death.

Make sure your chair is properly adjusted

One of the most common work-related injuries is back pain. Ensure your desk chair is adjusted properly and the computer monitor is at the right angle and height.

Wear the right dress when working

Whether you are giving a presentation or working in a factory, following the dress code is important. For example, if your hair is loose and the wind is blowing, the best thing would be to tie it into a knot before it gets stuck in one of the machines.

Memorise the safety procedure so that if you get stuck in another part of the building, you will know what to do exactly. First, reach safety and then decide how to bring other people out. Second, use a risk management approach to figure out how the accident happened and how you can eliminate such future problems.

Last but not least, communicate amongst colleagues how workplace accidents can be avoided and ask about the challenges they have faced at previous jobs. Communicate about the incident with your employer to know about everything and agree to compensate for your loss and cost medical bills.