Minimising work accidents: five top tips

Have a look at these five top tips to get started making your office a safer place.

According to Small Biz Trends, the top five causes of accident in the workplace are:

  • Material handling 32 per cent
  • Slips, trips and falls 16 per cent
  • Bring struck by or colliding with an object 10 per cent
  • Accidents involving tools 7 per cent
  • Cumulative trauma (injury by overusing or straining a body part over time) 4 per cent

These numbers can be lowered with a few simple changes in and around the work place. Have a look at these five top tips to get started:

Sensible signage

Slips, trips and falls are most likely to arise from a spillage of some sort. If it’s not cleared up, it can lead to a slippery floor for people to skid on. To minimise the risk of an accident occurring, ensure that a caution size is placed in the area to warn people that there’s a spill that hasn’t yet been cleaned up. Make sure that everyone in the workplace knows about the hazard, and that if they accidentally spill something themselves, that they too put out a sign until it is dealt with. It’s also sensible to keep frequent walkways clear of obstacles, and kept well-lit too. Make sure that steps and ramps are marked appropriately.

Easier handling

Things like tables, chairs, filing cabinets and much larger items are difficult to move due to their weight and bulky size. Fixing castors to heavy furniture and frequently moved heavy objects often will save employees from handling injuries as they will be able to just push objects around rather than trying to lift them.

Educating employees

As soon as you employ someone new, make sure you encourage him or her to prioritise safety in the workplace. Remind employees to follow the proper procedures even if it takes them more time to do their job. You could even consider incentives for teams that manage to have the fewest amounts of accidents in the workplace.

Invest in equipment

Helmets, high visibility jackets, gloves and the right protective clothing can save lives in the work place. So, it’s really important that you get your employees kitted out in everything that they need. According to the International Labour Organisation, 6,300 people die around the world every day in occupational accidents or from work-related disease. That’s over 2.3m deaths per year. This can be lowered with better equipment and closer monitoring of staff out in the field.

Do your research

Every workplace is different, so make sure you pay attention to the common accidents that are happening in your workplace. Put preventative strategies in place to reduce the likelihood of them occurring in the future. It’s also really important that once you develop new strategies you inform your employees.

Also, make sure that your employees aren’t cutting corners to get jobs done quickly as this is when accidents are more likely to occur. If they are trying to hurry, is it because you are short-staffed? Or, do you need to deliver some refresher health and safety training? Do your research and make changes before you have a bigger problem on your hands.

See also: Health and safety checklist for small businesses

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Health and Safety