Workplace accidents are one of the most common claims received by insurance companies. Make sure you are protected with correct insurance coverage by viewing workshop insurance quotes for your business. Whether you are employed by a company or operate your own workshop based business it’s important to observe safety rules to keep yourself accident-free.
Avoiding hazards and taking some precautions can help you reduce the risk of accidents and personal injury. While many incidents can be small or inconsequential, some can be fatal or life-threatening with long term effects.
Following these simple precautions will help you with workplace accident prevention to help avoid becoming another workplace injury statistic. Because while having employers' liability insurance can help financially protect if an employee is injured on the job, prevention is the key.
1. Keep your workplace tidy
Making sure that your workspace is organised and free from clutter can help to reduce accident risks. Keep tools stored correctly and put away when not in use, and make sure your area is clear from trip hazards like work debris, cables, or toolboxes. Removing trip hazards can prevent many accidents for not only yourself but for visitors or customers that may be on the premises.
2. Use the correct PPE
Personal Protective Equipment is provided by companies to protect staff from harm. If you are operating equipment or handling substances that require PPE then make sure you use it to reduce your risk of accident or exposure.
PPE can come in many forms but all are designed to protect your body and shield you from harm. Types of PPE can include:
Face masks/shields Gloves Goggles Earplugs Hard hats Respirators Safety shoes Aprons
Some equipment is required by the HSE to provide adequate protection from hazards, spills, or prevent damage to organs. It must be properly maintained to ensure that the correct protection is provided.
3. Use lifting aids
When lifting or moving heavy objects back injuries can easily happen. Make sure that you are using appropriate manual handling and lifting techniques to reduce strain on your back and spine.
If loads are too heavy to lift alone, seek help or use mechanical lifting aids that are available to avoid harm. Lifting equipment should be checked to ensure that it is capable of handling the load and it will need to be maintained on a regular basis to comply with regulations.
4. Inspect machinery and hand tools
Workshop environments often require the use of tools and mechanical equipment. If you need to use machinery then check it for safety. If the machine is not operating properly then do not risk using it. If safety shields and guards are missing these need to be replaced before the equipment is used.
Hand tools should be clean, maintained and in good condition before you use them. Loose handles, chipped or pitted surfaces or old rusty tools can cause accidents and will need to be replaced for safety reasons.
5. Noise control
Equipment, machinery, and power tools all output noise that can quickly exceed normal levels. When you are working in a noisy environment be sure to use the proper ear protection to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Earplugs and protectors can help but loud machinery like compressors should be operated from a closed area or outside to minimize noise.
6. Chemicals and dangerous substances
Safe handling and storage of toxic or hazardous substances can help you to avoid nasty spills or chemical burns. Chemicals should be used in a well-ventilated area and you should always wear protective equipment such as gloves and goggles when handling corrosive liquids.
Correctly storing items like LPG canisters or welding bottles will help to avoid problems from flammable gas leaks. Explosions in the workplace do happen and workshops frequently have combustible materials that can cause injury and fires so make sure your flammable gases are stored outside on a concrete surface.
7. Don’t run
This is probably one of the simplest safety rules to follow but ignoring it causes accidents every year. Even if you are in a rush, don’t be tempted to run in the workshop, it poses a risk not only to yourself but to other people.
Running across a workshop will create a higher chance of injury from falling, slipping, or crashing into things. It also means that it’s harder to avoid incidents and the impact is much higher than if you were walking, meaning that any damage can be greater. No matter how busy you are avoid the temptation to move faster than a normal walk.
What are the most common workshop accidents?
The most common workshop accidents are:
- Slips, trips, and falls.
- Cuts and injuries from blades and tools
- Noise damage
- Exposure to fumes and hazardous substances
- Manual handling injuries
How can workshop accidents be reduced?
Along with following safety rules and providing PPE, correct training can reduce accidents substantially. Training employees on the correct operation of machinery, equipment and proper handling of harmful substances can reduce workplace accidents.
Should I perform a risk assessment?
While not required it can be beneficial to perform risk assessments to identify and remove any potential safety risks.
What about fire safety regulations?
All workplaces are required to provide fire extinguishers and some types of business may require additional equipment or emergency lighting. Fire exits should be clearly marked and alarms tested regularly. Fire safety training should be offered to all employees and staff members.
Many workshop accidents can be avoided by using common sense and following required health and safety rules. If your workshop has employees and outputs work in large quantities then make sure you are following the correct safety regulations and have the right insurance in place.