Preventing accidents in the workplace should be a priority for all businesses. Not only can they cause serious injuries but they can reduce productivity, leading to negative consequences, both financially and legally.

Accidents do happen, which is why preparing for the worst is key to reducing risk. To avoid accidents at work, you must understand the most common causes, be aware of legal requirements and put appropriate practices in place. If you fail to adhere to safety standards, your employees may be within their rights to make a work accident claim.

This guide will explain how to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace and help protect your employees’ health and safety.

Educate employees and management

Cultivating a safety standard among all employees consistently is sure to be effective in improving awareness of risk. Run through the importance of following safety measures and train staff to use dangerous equipment effectively.

It’s recommended that you also screen applicants to ensure they are well equipped to manage their roles, assigning tasks to their physical capabilities.

Provide protective equipment

The correct personal protective equipment is essential and should be strictly enforced and regulated during hiring, meetings and monitoring. Take time to properly teach each member of staff how to use each piece of equipment, which usually includes hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, and face masks.

To go that step further, make sure the protective equipment is properly fitted for each employee. This should be done by a professional and will ensure that staff members have safety equipment true to their size and shape, which will help to reduce the risk of injury.

Conduct regular inspections

In some lines of work, the use of dangerous equipment can’t be avoided. Industries like construction, manufacturing and shipping pose the highest risk to employees and so require additional scrutiny.

Perform regular inspections on all machinery that is to be operated by staff members, ensuring they are safe and function properly. If something suddenly breaks or appears to be operating unusually, make sure employees stop using the equipment immediately. Either have the item professionally repaired or replaced – injuries will likely cost much more than a machine part.

Offer employees support

Whilst workplace accidents are usually caused by the work environment and dangerous machinery, other factors like experience and physical and mental health can also be a major cause for concern. If an employee becomes tired or is overworked, their mind will likely be elsewhere. And lack of attention and awareness can easily lead to serious injuries.

Offer all employees a comprehensive list of mental and physical health resources and a sizable benefit plan. If you notice an individual becoming particularly tired, have them take frequent and longer breaks or send them home until they are feeling up to the job. When an employee feels healthy and supported, their work is better and everyone is much safer.