Workplace injuries can come in all shapes and sizes. Some may only be minor and could have little to no impact on your personal and working life. However, a lack of safety in the workplace could also result in you sustaining much more severe injuries. So could a lack of knowledge regarding how to stay safe at work.
Not only could you experience varying degrees of pain and suffering as a result of workplace injuries, but there could be a financial impact as well. For instance, your income may be affected if you’re unable to work during your recovery. Both scenarios can cause emotional and psychological distress too.
That’s why it’s important to know how to stay safe at work. We’ve assembled this guide to provide you with some do’s and don’ts of the workplace. Read on to find out how you can contribute to the level of safety in the work environment.
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- Top Tips For Safety In The Workplace
- How To Keep Safe At Work If You’re Self-Employed
- General Safety In The Workplace
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 describes the duty of care that your employer owes you. However, there are only so many steps that they can take. You are also partly responsible for your own safety in the work environment. Your colleagues also owe you a duty of care.
Here are a few examples of how you could reduce to risk of injury in the workplace. These same steps can apply to your colleagues:
- Report any hazards or risks – Although your employer is responsible for taking all reasonably practicable steps to avoid you sustaining an injury, they can only do so if they’re aware of something they need to rectify. For example, if there is a leak in the employee toilets, this will need to be fixed so no one slips and falls. Tell your employer so these repairs can be carried out.
- Pay attention and put training into action – Your employer providing you with adequate training is an example of them fulfilling their duty of care. However, it is then up to you to adhere to this training for your safety in the workplace to be improved.
- Question instructions you are uncomfortable with – For instance, you may be unsure how to use a piece of equipment or machinery. Even though your employer asking you to use it without adequate training is a breach of their duty of care, this doesn’t negate the fact that you could be injured when using unfamiliar and potentially dangerous equipment.
There are more ways you could improve your own health and safety in the workplace. These examples are only illustrative.
Tips for safety in the workplace can vary if you’re self-employed. This is because you are almost entirely responsible for your own well-being. This is why it’s important to do your own research on how to keep safe at work. The steps you can take will often depend on the nature of your work.
However, there can be instances where you could be injured through no fault of your own. For example, you may work in maintenance and repair. Businesses could call you to their premises to carry out these repairs.
If so, then they owe you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This means they must take all reasonable steps to avoid you becoming injured because they have invited you to the space.
To illustrate, you may have been called out to a pub or restaurant to repair a damaged or faulty piece of equipment. If you trip and fall, and the hazard that tripped you could have been reasonably rectified, then this is an example of the occupier (the bar or restaurant) breaching their duty of care to you.
Do’s And Don’ts Of The Workplace
We’ve compiled a short list of things you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to safety in the workplace. However, these are not the only steps you should consider. There are other examples of how to keep safe at work.
- Listen to the guidance and training that’s given to you.
- Be vigilant.
- Report any new hazards.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when instructed.
- Act recklessly.
- Ignore instructions put in place to keep you safe.
- Keep injuries to yourself.
As you can see, there is no set procedure to follow when it comes to how to stay safe at work. Although certain steps need to be put in place by your employer, it’s important that you use your own judgement too.
Different workplaces will present unique risks and could threaten your safety in various ways. Due to this fact, it is beneficial to be aware of the ways you could be injured at work and take your own steps to reduce these risks.