Lots of people switched to home working over the last few years – but post-pandemic, as we head back to the office, it’s easy to overlook important workplace health and safety tips.
Because we haven’t been in the workplace for so long, it’s important to be extra cautious when we return to reduce potential accidents at work. It doesn’t matter if you work in an office or on a construction site; safety should always come first.
So, to help you get fully prepared for your return to the workplace and improve the safety of your place of work overall, we’re outlining five workplace safety tips that you can implement to keep employees safe while working.
1. Create and implement a safety programme
The first of our workplace safety tips is an important one, and that’s ensuring you have some kind of safety programme in place that relates to the hazards experienced in your specific industry.
Before your employees return to your place of work, take the time to have a walk through it. Check every room in the office and all areas of your factory with an eye on identifying any potential hazards.
These could be major things, like worn-out holdings, loose cables, or even damage to the building itself, or they could be minor, such as an over-stacked shelf. Either way, with this information in hand, you can take steps to remove these hazards.
But that’s only half of this safety tip. When staff come back, you should set aside half a day where you can train them on how to keep the office safe and encourage them to report potential hazards when they see them to a manager or in a logbook.
It would also be beneficial to send some of your employees on first aid and mental health counselling courses, just in case anything should happen onsite. As health and safety tips go, this last piece of advice can often be the difference between major and minor personal injuries in workplace accidents.
2. Keep your place of work clean and tidy
Keeping your workplace tidy and organised is perhaps the most important of all workplace safety tips. You may not think by looking at it, but tripping on a stray bag can lead to a serious trip, slip, or fall injury.
Explain to your employees why personal belongings should be kept safely under desks or in lockers where possible. You should also talk them through why a clean working environment is important to avoid falling objects or stay trip hazards.
But where this safety tip is even more important is on construction sites and in factories. One rogue toolbox is all you need to cause injury to someone, and if up high, a potentially fatal accident.
Where possible, educate your workforce with safety tips on how to avoid leaving potential hazards in busy locations. For example, any spills should be cleaned up the moment they’re spotted, and broken objects should be moved to a safe location.
You should also be looking to ensure that the building you work in is up to industry standards. Loose wires and cables are a sure-fire way for your employees to injure themselves if they trip over them, and loose roof tiles can dislodge in strong winds.
3. Empower your employees with the information they need
Just because certain menial tasks may not be stated on an employee’s contract, it doesn’t mean they won’t have to carry said tasks out at some point in the workplace.
For example, as a general rule, office workers may not be required to do a lot of heavy lifting. However, there may be an occasion where a heavy parcel gets delivered, or employees are moving desks and need to lift computer monitors and chairs.
So, if you know that something like this is likely to happen in your place of work, providing employees with the knowledge they need to do it safely and injury-free is a must when it comes to safety tips.
There are a wealth of tips you can find online about how to correctly lift or move objects, as well as educational courses you can send your employees on.
4. Set up all equipment correctly and regularly audit it
Incorrectly set up or damaged equipment are workplace accidents just waiting to happen. Unfortunately, this kind of hazard can often be hard to spot unless you’re actively looking for it.
Before your employees return to their place of work, you should take the time to ensure all equipment is set up or maintained correctly. This might mean tightening desk bolts or replacing damaged furniture.
If you work in construction or with chemicals, this means ensuring each and every tool and piece of safety equipment is in perfect working order. If it’s not, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.
Upon your employees’ return, you should also take time to re-educate them on how to correctly use the tools at their disposal. In an office, for example, have everyone learn to properly adjust their chairs and monitors for correct ergonomic support.
And above all else, the last key part of this workplace safety tip is to audit everything regularly. The sooner you spot a problem, the sooner any potential workplace accident can be avoided.
5. Always avoid the temptation of shortcuts
It might sound obvious, but mistakes are most likely to happen when tasks are done quickly and without proper preparation. When implementing safety measures, don’t cut corners.
With your employees, you must stress that their safety is the most important thing to you. You should encourage your employees to complete a task they’ve done before with adequate safety measures in place to help encourage this new mindset of safety first.
This also goes for any tool repairs, equipment set up, and building repairs. In short, never, ever take shortcuts when it comes to workplace safety.
With those five workplace safety tips in hand, you should now have a much better understanding of how to avoid accidents and injuries in the workplace. Implement them today and you can welcome your employees back knowing they’re safe. Injuries in the office may not be as common as other workplaces like construction sites or factories, but that doesn’t mean they don’t occur. However, by taking the steps to safety-proof your office, and educating your employees on the role they play too; you’re helping to significantly reduce the risk.
Of course, as much as we try to follow safety tips, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. However, if you’ve suffered an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, then you should get in touch with The Compensation Experts today to start your claim.
We’ll put you in touch with expert solicitors in the field of personal injury. They’ll work with you to build your case, estimate how much you could claim, and walk you through the claims process; keeping you informed every step of the way.