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Common health & safety risks within a workplace

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Why do we need health and safety in the workplace? Well, it involves much more than ticking the right boxes. It revolves around managing risks promptly and pre-emptively, not just ensuring you meet the minimum requirements. It’s about protecting employees so there are no workplace accidents, protecting their occupational health, your financial goals and your businesses’ reputation.

Why do we need health & safety in the workplace?

There are several laws and regulations that place responsibility on business owners and those managing health & safety in the workplace. They are there to protect employees' health, Safety, and wellbeing.

If you don’t have health and safety ingrained in your business, it may end up costing you. We can show you the correct way to perform risk assessments to protect your employee’s occupational health.

As a business you need to adhere to the safety legislations and safety regulations of the health and safety act 1974. To avoid big fines, it is best practice to put in place a HR consultant to make sure this area is covered.

What is the most common risk to health & safety in the workplace?

Ultimately, the most common risk to health and safety in the workplace depends on the nature of the workplace. Different working environments will pose various risks, so the most common risk in one workplace may be entirely different to your own.

However, looking at the HSE's health & safety statistics for 2020/21, we can see that:

  • 822,000 workers suffered work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • 470,000 workers suffered from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder
  • 441,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury of which;
  • 33% was caused by slips, trips or falls on the same level
  • 8% was caused by falls from height
  • 18% was caused by handling, lifting or carrying

With this in mind, we can see that some of the most common risks to health & safety in the workplace are:

Poor manual handling

This is one of the most common workplace health & safety risks. Handling heavy loads is an example which could result in musculoskeletal disorders such as repetitive strain injuries. Wherever possible, avoid handling heavy loads; however, when this is not, the HSE state that it is vital to consider with a risk assessment:

  • Individual capability
  • The nature of the load
  • Environmental conditions
  • Training
  • Work organisation

Our manual handling course can be a great way to keep employees safe by teaching them the correct form and is a legal requirement for any business where staff are required to to do any lifting, lowering, pushing our pulling.

Slip ,trip, and fall hazard

Slips and trips make up most health & safety workplace injuries, making them an essential risk to consider. To prevent injuries and accidents from happening, you should assess whether you are sufficiently ensuring these risks in your workplace are controlled. The HSE provide a list of recommendations:

  • Prevent floors from getting wet or contaminated in the first place
  • Have procedures in place for both routine and responsive cleaning
  • If a spillage does happen, clean it up quickly
  • If floors are left wet after cleaning, stop anyone from walking on them until they are dry and use the correct cleaning methods and products
  • Look out for trip hazards, such as uneven floors or trailing cables, and encourage good housekeeping by your workers
  • Make sure workers wear footwear and protective equipment that is suitable for the environment they are working in
  • Make sure your flooring is suitable, or floors likely to get wet are of a type that does not become unduly slippery

By following these guidelines, you are creating a safe working environment for your employees. Alternatively take a look at our slips, trips and falls training.

Poor mental wellbeing

Mental ill health could be related to stress at work or depression and anxiety. Regardless, taking into account your employees' mental wellbeing and providing support measures can help those suffering. The HSE suggest the following ways employers can support their staff:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan that promotes good mental health of all employees and outlines the support available for those who may need it
  • Develop mental health awareness training among employees by making information, tools and support accessible
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling, during the recruitment process and at regular intervals throughout employment, offer appropriate workplace adjustments to employees who require them
  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development
  • Promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and wellbeing with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers and supervisors in effective management practices
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors

Online health & saftty training

Providing your staff with high-quality and effective training doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. Get your safety procedures set up in place today.

Our online health & safety training courses offer a simple yet highly effective way of working towards compliance with current legislation. Ultimately not only does this protect your staff, but it also protects your business and its interests.

Some businesses we have worked with