As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your staff members during working hours. This applies whether they are working on your premises or working remotely.
However, you are liable to be sued if a member of your staff injures themselves at your work premises, especially if you haven’t followed the proper safety precautions. This is why it is vital you invest in a solid employer’s liability insurance policy, to protect yourself and cover any legal costs you may be liable for if sued by an employee.
There are, of course, some workplace injuries that take place more often than others. These occur every single across a wide range of industries, all over the UK.
Slips and falls
Unsurprisingly, slipping, tripping and falling over are the most common causes of injuries in UK workplaces. On the positive side, these are the easiest accidents to help prevent from a boss’s perspective.
It is essential you properly warn visitors and employees alike of anywhere they are likely to slip. If the floor is wet, place a regulation wet floor sign in the area. Make sure there is no debris littering the hallways that people could trip over. If there are any manholes or exposed ground, either corner it off or display plenty of warning signs. All of these simple measures can prevent a serious accident and a large payout.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Whether a manual labourer or an accountant, RSI is a risk factor in pretty much every profession that requires repetition. Arms, shoulders and necks are the primary victims of RSI, so whether you are sat up to a computer all day or performing the same heavy-lifting task, day in day out, employees are vulnerable to developing RSI.
Encourage breaks, provide comfortable chairs and make sure everyone gets away from their computer screens to avoid eye strain.
Falling objects can result in all kinds of injuries to workers, from minor abrasions to major, life-threatening injuries. It is not always possible to avoid falling objects, but you should take all the reasonable safety measures to prevent warehouse stock from falling, ensure ceiling tiles are properly fixed, ceiling lights are firmly in place and any external statues or signs are secure.
Muscle straining doesn’t just apply to jobs that require heavy-lifting (although, they are obviously the most vulnerable workers). If you receive a heavy delivery and ask an employee to carry it up a flight of stairs, this could result in a real injury that could see you in court.
Back and neck strain are common results of working long hours, no matter whether you’re sat at a desk or lifting heavy objects. However, you can limit the cases of these injuries occurring by having employees learn effective stretching exercises and provide training on proper lifting techniques.
This should not be construed as advice and is for guidance only.