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Anyone who has the responsibility of running a workplace environment, whether it is an office, retail unit, factory floor or any other situation, also has the duty to make sure that all employees are able to carry out their tasks safely. This means that steps must always be taken to minimise the risk of workplace injuries.

shutterstock_387564379Legal and moral

It isn’t just a moral requirement to look after workers, there are many health and safety related pieces of legislation that cover the issue too. For some employers these will be general guidelines that are quite straightforward and often little more than common sense, but for more specialised areas of operations being compliant with the law can mean spending time and money on equipment, training and workplace modifications.

Common workplace injuries

Common injuries result from accidents such as slips and falls and in many cases these can be avoided. Depending on the actual work involved there can be other case-specific common risks, such as burns or chemically-induced injuries or illnesses, falls from heights or accidents involving heavy machinery.

In each of these different scenarios there are ways to minimise risk and create a safe operating environment, and most of these will fall under the auspices of complying with various health and safety legislation.

Consequences of workplace injuries

Obviously it is in the interests of workers that their day to day duties can be carried out with minimal risk and that they are provided with all the equipment, safety clothing and training needed. However, it is also in the employer’s best interests too, as employees who are injured at work may be able to take legal action if it was not their own fault. Even quite simple and straightforward daily tasks can cause problems.

Repetitive strain industrial accident claims are on the rise due to many different factors, and this is certainly one specific area which warrants greater attention from employers because it is one where risks can be mitigated and the likelihood of being sued lessened to a great degree.

Culture of safety

As an employer, when you make safety a priority you can lead by examples and encourage employees to do the same. Simple things such as reminding workers to follow proper procedures can mean they actually work at a slower pace and reduce risky behaviour, but counter-intuitively this does not mean that they will actually get less work done.

This ‘culture of safety’ state of mind is something that self-propagates and is an extremely cost-effective way of creating a better working environment no matter what your business set-up might be.

Win-win situation

Making sure that a workplace environment is a safe one is a win-win prospect all round. Not only does it reduce physical dangers for workers and minimise the risk of employers being sued, it also makes for a more productive atmosphere whereby the job in hand can be carried out safely and to the best of everyone’s abilities.