If you’re running a business, then it really is up to you as the owner to put the onus on keeping all your employees safe and well while they work.
Workplace accidents can end up losing otherwise profitable companies significant sums of money, from sickness pay, personal injury claims, and the loss of productivity that arises from having workers away from their jobs.
There are lots of different scenarios that can result in accidents and injuries within the work environment, and these can vary. Sometimes they’re quite minor and require little to no medical treatment, but in some circumstances, they can be much more serious and need hospital stays and recuperation afterward.
Given the specific risks involved in electrical work, it’s crucial for business owners to consider how liability insurance for electricians can provide a safety net against claims arising from injuries or damages caused by their operations. Explore our detailed guide on securing the right coverage to protect your business and employees.
In terms of what companies can do to mitigate risks and ensure that their employees are working legally and within safe frameworks, there are basic precautions and systems to put in place. These can range from simple steps like:
- Thorough and regular risk assessments
- Regular inspection and maintenance of workplace equipment
- Training sessions on topics such as moving and handling
- Supplying appropriate PPE
- Ensuring workspaces are always clean and tidy
- Displaying of appropriate signage in buildings
- Reporting any accidents or ‘near misses’.
Requirements like these should be standard for all workplaces, even ones that are deemed to be relatively safe – such as office spaces in which people are seated at desks for the most part, or not using any heavy machinery and equipment. Check out our comprehensive article on Electrical Safety and Its Impact on Insurance to understand the correlation and importance of electrical safety measures in influencing your insurance policies.
We often consider places like factories or sites of industry to be the main spaces in which workplace accidents and misadventures occur, with offices and places of more sedentary work seen as less likely to be dangerous. In reality, the latter types of work space are no less dangerous, rather the types of accidents that occur within them are merely different. In an office you’re more likely to:
- Trip over something
- Bend or reach for something while sitting in an unstable chair
- Use a chair in place of a ladder to climb to reach something
- Slip on a wet floor
- Have inadequate lighting.
In industry accidents are more likely to be as follows:
- Falling objects from surfaces
- Collisions with equipment such as forklift trucks
- Machinery entanglement, for instance, getting your clothes caught in factory equipment
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Chemical exposure especially if there’s been a failure to provide adequate PPE
To further safeguard your employees, especially in high-risk professions like electrical work, understanding workers compensation for electricians is essential. This policy ensures that workers are covered in the event of job-related injuries or illnesses, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive protection in maintaining a secure and healthy work environment.
With all this in mind, we’ve spoken to some noted experts and asked them some pertinent questions relating to workplace health and safety concerns. Let’s get their opinions on workplace safety and accidents.
How has health and safety in the workplace changed over the years?
“Health and safety in the workplace has transformed drastically since its conception in 1833. Today’s health and safety is characterized by government agencies, all-encompassing legislation, and continuous improvement, resulting in a gradual decrease in accidents over time.
Of course, accidents still occur and this would continue to be the case even if you wrapped every single employee in cotton wool. But many businesses continue to experience accidents well above the national average and end up paying for incidents that could easily be avoided.
This doesn’t have to be the case and there are best practices businesses can immediately implement to help improve workplace health and safety” Zac Francis writing for EduMe.com
What constitutes a workplace accident?
“If an employee suddenly or unexpectedly is injured physically or mentally when performing their job duties, this is considered a workplace accident. Accidents can occur on the employer’s premises or somewhere else workers may be fulfilling their responsibilities. In contrast, a worker who is exposed to a harmful substance like asbestos and years later develops a related illness is considered to be the victim of occupational disease, not a workplace accident.
As an example, an office worker who badly strains their back lifting a heavy box has suffered a workplace accident or injury. But a janitorial worker who develops a bad back due to the repeated strain caused by heavy lifting over many years is suffering from an occupational disease. These distinctions are important when it comes to a company’s legal responsibility.” Simon Brisk writing for Business.com
What are the most common workplace injuries?
“According to data from RIDDOR, out of 609,000 self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries (175,000 of which resulted in over 7 days absence), the most common causes are:”
|Cause of Injury
|Slips, trips, and falls on the same level
|Being struck by an object
|Falls from height
|Acts of violence
|Contact with machinery
|Strike against something fixed/stationary
Steven writing for safetyfirstaid.co.uk