Most of us rely on our jobs as a source of income and an injury at work can not only be physically debilitating but financially too. The knock-on effects of financial insecurity can have a devastating impact on your mental health, as well as the well-being of your family.
What is an accident at work?
Whilst you are at work your employer, under the employees rights legislation, has a legal duty to ensure you are kept safe from an accident, injury or illness. This means your employer has a duty to inform you, the employee, about any health and safety issues which can affect them, such as hazardous materials, training on specialist equipment and the correct personal protective equipment.
Many employees still feel afraid to make an accident at work claim for fear of losing their job, or feel pressured to return to work too soon following an accident at work. Remember however, that your physical and mental health is of the utmost importance.
How to reduce your risk of a workplace accident
By definition, an accident is an unfortunate unexpected incident, however, there are ways you can mitigate this risk in your work place.
- Always be alert
There’s a reason a coffee in the morning is the beverage of choice, workers with sleep problems are over one and a half times more likely to get injured than workers with no sleep issues.
If that means hitting the hay an hour earlier than you normally would, increasing your alertness could reduce your risk of an accident at work.
- Don’t rush
In many workplaces tight deadlines and an underlying sense of urgency have bread a culture of feeling rushed and under pressure, however, it’s important to take the appropriate amount of time to perform your duties safely.
- Wear/ use the correct gear
Whether you’re in a factory and need to ensure you are wearing the correct uniform, a building site that requires a hard hat and high-vis jacket, or even in an office at a computer all day, ensuring you’re wearing the correct gear or using the correct equipment to minimise your risk to accident or illness is your responsibility.
If you feel you don’t have the correct equipment, you must speak with your line manager.
- Pay attention to and follow emergency procedure
It’s easy to become complacent when the fire alarm is tested once a week, but would you know what to do in an actual emergency? It’s your responsibility to know your evacuation route and fire assembly point. If you don’t know find out.
- Insist on proper training
If there is anything you’re unsure of, especially if your job involves a number of risks, such as long distance driving, heavy lifting or operating machinery, it is your responsibility to ask for more training if you feel it hasn’t been adequate.
Should you have encountered an accident in the workplace it’s important you understand your rights surrounding making a claim- regardless of whether the accident caused a minor injury such as cuts and bruises or was more severe such as broken bones, burns, amputations and sometimes, tragically, fatalities. By taking these simple steps you can reduce your risk of an accident at work.
I hope you have foound this post on how to reduce your risk of a workplace accident to be useful