8 Common Workplace Health & Safety Hazards

Health & safety measures are designed to keep everyone safe. Although accidents are a part of life and can occur anywhere and at any time, there are ways to avoid many of them by simply being aware of the most common safety hazards found in the workplace.

Business owners have a duty of care towards all employees, to protect them and keep them safe while they’re on the premises. The good news is that health & safety procedures don’t have to be expensive or time consuming, and are normally hugely beneficial to businesses thanks to such outcomes as a reduction in sick days taken and better staff retention levels.

Manage these 8 common workplace health & safety hazards and immediately improve the safety of your work premises and protection of your staff.

  1. Slips, Trips and Falls

A large number of injuries at work are caused by individuals slipping, tripping or falling – and many of these accidents are easily preventable.

Common causes include wet floors, uneven surfaces, items left in walkways or on stairs, icy conditions in the car park, and inappropriate staff footwear. Most of the time, good management by the office manager together with maintenance prevent accidents from happening – for example, cleaning spills straightaway, keeping cables out of the way, maintaining floors and ensuring floors are non-slip, and training staff to be aware of potential hazards and how to report incidents so they can be dealt with immediately.

  1. Noise

HSE estimates that one million workers a year are exposed to unacceptable noise levels which could harm their hearing. Employers have a duty of care to ensure noise levels stay at a safe level to protect employees’ hearing.

  1. Electrical Faults

Faulty electrical equipment can cause accidents and injuries in the workplace. Health and safety law states electrical equipment should be regularly maintained to prevent causing injuries to individuals. Always use a trained professional to carry out the checks and ensure any feedback is acted upon.

  1. Fire

All premises are at risk from fire and it’s vital fire safety is managed well to keep everyone safe. Employers should conduct a fire risk assessment and install and maintain fire precautionary measures as a result, and ensure all staff are trained and given sufficient information.

  1. Lack of Training

Without knowledge, accidents and injuries are far more likely to happen. When staff know what is and isn’t safe, and how to cope with dangerous situations, steps can be taken to avoid potential safety issues and keep everyone safe.

  1. Computers

Computers are commonplace in offices today, and it’s essential that staff know how to use them in a way that won’t damage their health. Individuals should take regular breaks from the screen to rest their eyes and vary their posture, which can be covered in staff training together with exercises to avoid wellbeing issues such as eye strain and backache.

  1. Lack of Staff Knowledge

By highlighting any health conditions of staff to other employees, you can minimise the risk of injuries. For example, if an employee is epileptic and, if the employee was comfortable with disclosing this, you could incorporate this into training sessions so people know what to do if the person suffers an epileptic attack. Employees do not have to disclose this to fellow staff members should they choose not to.

  1. Lack of First Aid

Employers must provide first aid equipment and training to ensure staff safety. Measures should be carefully maintained once in place also, including regular assessments of first aid needs to make sure there is the right number of first aiders on the premises, providing staff with first aid refresher courses, and ensuring the first aid equipment is constantly replenished.