Accidents at work happen all the time, but there are often very good reasons as to why they occur.
As a business owner, it is important you know what these reasons are because when you do, you will be able to put processes in place to stop them.
By avoiding accidents, you will:
- Escape the financial consequences of a compensation claim
- Avoid the consequences of downtime at work
- Maintain your business reputation
- Protect the lives of your employees
Here are just some of the reasons why accidents happen at work.
#1: A lack of health and safety measures
As a business owner, you should understand the need to keep your employees safe. To protect them, a number of measures need to be put in place around the workplace. These include the provision of safety gear for those employees working within risky areas, signage that alerts employees to possible dangers, the maintenance of potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that could cause harm if they are faulty, and regular cleanups of the work environment. If you are neglectful within any of these areas, then the chances of there being an accident escalate.
#2: Employees working under the influence of drugs and alcohol
According to the Accident Center, approximately 16 percent of emergency room patients injured at work have had alcohol in their system. Drugs are another common problem, according to the website, with cocaine and marijuana being two of the primary drugs picked up on in the workplace. When under the influence, the chances of an accident happening are high, as the reaction times and common-sense judgment of employees will be affected. As an employer, you might want to consider alcohol and drug testing within your workplace, be that during the pre-employment stage, after an accident has happened, or at random intervals to check the condition of your employees.
#3: Workplace distractions
Workplace distractions can be a nuisance at the best of times, as the productivity of your employees will be negatively affected. However, they can also compromise workplace safety, as you can see in these real-world examples. As an employer, you need to manage these distractions. So, you might instruct your employees to turn off their phones when they are working in medium-high risk areas. You might tell your employees to keep workplace banter to a minimum. And you might want to make sure no outsiders can interrupt your employees while they are working.
#4: A lack of sufficient training
Especially when your employees are engaged with dangerous pieces of machinery, it is imperative that they are trained to use them. If they haven’t been trained, or if they have been given a rushed tutorial, it is understandable that an accident might happen if they don’t know how to operate the machinery properly. Training needs to be put in place, as no worker should have to risk their lives without the right instruction. There should also be healthy and safety training for other aspects of the workplace, as the better educated your employees are about the possible risks that are present, the safer they will be.
So, be mindful of your workplace. You will only experience the consequences if accidents do happen, but as they can be avoided, you should do what you can to protect both the needs of your employees and your business.