13 Sep 2022

Why is workplace health and safety important?
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Workplace Health & Safety Risks

With statistics revealing that 123 workers were killed in Great Britain during 2021/22, it’s vital that employers are doing all they can to mitigate health and safety risks. Alongside protecting the wellbeing of your workers – which, in turn, will optimise staff retention – ensuring that adequate measures are in place will prevent potentially devastating financial loss. An increased number of sickness days, paired with structural damage caused by workplace accidents can rack up a hefty cost – which could impact your business’s long-term stability. 

To avoid these scenarios, this article will tell you everything you need to know about improving health and safety in the workplace. 

How to improve health and safety in the workplace

Safety inspections

There are a number of different workplace safety inspections available – whether that be through safety tours, safety sampling, safety surveys or incident inspections. A union-appointed health and safety representative can complete these inspections, with their frequency depending on the nature of work concerned. Where particularly high risk activities are involved, these areas may be checked more frequently.

If action is required post-inspection, you will need to inform your health and safety representative. This way, they can complete another thorough inspection to ensure that appropriate measures are in place. 

Staff training

Providing staff training is essential for improving health and safety in the workplace – and this must be available to all employees. Whether there’s a risk of staff dealing with dangerous chemicals, or they have the responsibility of driving potentially dangerous machinery, training topics will differ between workplaces. 

If your workplace undergoes any significant changes, or if HSE publishes new information on hazards, modules may need to be reviewed and adapted accordingly. 

Communicate

Communication is key to ensuring that your staff feel protected in their working environment. Keep everyone in the loop by organising regular meetings to discuss any changes to health and safety procedures. 

Relevant signage

Use signage to indicate or section off dangerous areas to make sure that your staff are aware of the possible health and safety risks. By communicating these important instructions, workers and visitors alike can go about their day without worry of harm. 

Keep work stations clean

Keeping work stations clean is another vital factor of improving health and safety in the workplace. Not only will this keep germs at bay, but the area will be free of clutter – which prevents tripping hazards. 

Clean air circulation 

The quality of the air circulating your premise could impact staff wellbeing, with untreated areas posing a serious threat to health and safety. To prevent the risk of, in some cases, long-term health conditions, the circulation of clean air is essential. From dust and fume extraction to odour extraction, investing in high-quality ductwork and fabrication solutions will guarantee that you have everything you need to keep staff and visitors safe and happy. 

Provide PPE (personal protective equipment)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is, as defined in the PPER 1992, all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective.’ After completing a workplace risk assessment, it is the employer’s duty to ensure that the correct protective equipment is provided to all employees. 

According to HSE, suitable PPE must be: 

  • Provided
  • Compatible
  • Maintained
  • Correctly stored
  • Used properly

Machinery checks

Workers may be required to drive heavy machinery – which can also be a potential health and safety risk. Regular checks must be carried out to ensure that machinery is operating correctly, and relevant staff members must be provided with adequate training. If there is any indication that machinery isn’t performing as it should, repairs must be made by a competent person as soon as possible. 

Need additional advice on how to improve health and safety in the workplace? Contact our team today to see how our ductwork and fabrication solutions could help. Regardless of the industry you’re in, our bespoke service will provide you with everything you need to guarantee the circulation of safe, clean air. 

 

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