Every year, accidents in the workplace result in injuries, fatalities and lost days of work — most of which are entirely preventable. In 2021 alone there were 8,279 non-fatal and 38 fatal work-related incidents in Ireland, and respondents reported 597,000 days lost due to work-related injuries in 2020. As an employer, you are responsible for creating a safe and healthy working environment for your employees, so it’s important to take steps for preventing workplace accidents wherever possible.
In our companion piece for this month, we discuss how to deal with workplace accidents. In this article, however, we outline effective tips for preventing them from happening in the first place – helping to ensure the safety of your staff and safeguarding your business against potential claims.
1. Hire qualified workers (and plenty of them)
Making sure your employees have the necessary qualifications and skills will reduce the chances of an accident happening in the first place. In addition, you should always ensure that you have adequate staff at any given time. This means there is less pressure on people to work longer hours or rush through tasks, which in turn helps to prevent accidents from occurring due to fatigue or a lack of concentration.
2. Preventing workplace accidents means conducting physical assessments
If you are hiring people for a physically demanding role, then conducting physical assessments might be a good idea. This can help you to identify any health problems or pre-existing conditions that may increase the chances of an accident occurring on the job.
3. Carry out regular risk assessments to anticipate and prevent
Risk assessments should be carried out regularly to identify any potential risks in the workplace. You must create an action plan based on these findings so that hazards are addressed immediately and any new risks are monitored closely.
4. Provide health and safety training for all employees
All employees should be given adequate training on health and safety procedures, as well as any specific processes relevant to their role. This includes everything from wearing appropriate clothing at work (for example, protective equipment such as helmets, goggles or gloves) to having basic first aid skills so that everyone knows what to do if an accident does occur.
5. Pay attention to walkways, signage and lighting
Clutter lying around can increase the chances of trips and falls, so make sure all workspaces are tidy and walkways are kept clear of debris at all times. Signs should be visible throughout the building indicating areas where caution should be exercised (such as wet floors) or warning people about potential hazards (such as machinery). Furthermore, all areas should have sufficient lighting during working hours.
6. Ensure work vehicles and machinery are properly maintained
Poorly maintained vehicles present a serious risk of injury or death if an accident occurs, so make sure you practice good vehicle and machinery maintenance by coordinating regular inspections and carrying out repairs promptly when needed.
Protect against financial losses with reliable, affordable insurance coverage from ERM Financial Services
Even if you follow all the tips outlined above, the reality is that accidents do happen in the workplace. The good news is that the team at ERM Financial Services are here to help.
We have a wealth of experience dealing with workplace accidents and we have decades of experience providing tailored insurance coverage to businesses all across Ireland.
We can’t prevent workplace accidents, but we can provide comprehensive cover through our Employer’s Liability Insurance that will help to protect you from financial losses if one of your employees has an accident and makes a claim against you.
Avoid the stress and financial strain associated with workplace accidents. Contact us to discuss your options today!