Preventing accidents at work
Seeing as around 1.5 million accidents at work occur every year and 220 workers died as a result of such accidents during 2004/05 there is a clear need for both employees and their employers to take action.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) works along side the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) to regulate health and safety in Great Britain. Read more about the Health and Safety Executive. They aim to educate employees about potential dangers in the workplace and recommend that the following risk assessment is carried out:
Step 1: Identify the hazards
Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution
Step 4: Record your findings and implement them
Step 5: Review your assessment and update if necessary
For more details please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm
The HSE also informs employees of their workers' rights and how accidents at work and resulting personal injuries can be avoided. They have formulated a booklet entitled workplace 'Health, Safety and Welfare' that can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg244.pdf. We have summarised the booklet below in a more concise checklist for managers:
- Workplaces should be adequately ventilated with fresh, clean air.
- Temperatures for indoor work places where activity is mostly deskbound should be at least 16°C.
- Temperatures for indoor workplaces where work is more physically active should be at least 13°C.
- Lighting should be sufficient to enable people to work and move about safely. Automatic emergency lighting, powered by an independent source should be provided in the event of a sudden loss of light which creates a risk.
- Furniture, furnishings, and fittings, surfaces of floors, walls and ceilings in the workplace should all be kept clean.
- Removal of waste should be carried out as necessary and should be stored in suitable containers.
- Workrooms should have enough free space to allow people to move around with ease. Each worker should have a minimum of 11 cubic metres.
- Workstations, including desks and supportive seating, should be suitable for the people using them.
- The workplace and certain equipment, devices and systems such as mechanical ventilation systems should be maintained in efficient working order.
- There should be sufficient width and headroom to allow people and vehicles to move around safely with ease. Surfaces should be strong, even, not slippery and obstruction free.
- Staircases with open sides should have an upper rail of at least 900 mm and a lower rail. A handrail should be provided on at least one side of every staircase.
- Secure fencing or other measures should be provided to prevent people falling from edges and objects falling onto people.
- Fixed ladders should be of sound construction, properly maintained and securely fixed.
- Precautions such as fall-arrest devices and crawling boards should be supplied where there is a risk of falling off or through a roof.
- Materials and objects should be stored in such a way that they are not likely to fall and cause personal injury. Storage racking and shelving should be adequately strong and stable for the amount of weight it is to support.
- Windows, transparent or translucent surfaces in walls, partitions, doors and gates should be made from safety material or protected against breakage and clearly marked if there is danger of people coming into contact with them.
- Windows, skylights and ventilations that are designed to open should be capable of being opened, closed, adjusted and cleaned safely.
- Doors and gates should be suitably constructed and fitted with safety devices, especially those that swing both ways, are power-operated or open upwards.
- Escalators and other moving walkways should function safely, be equipped with any necessary safety devices and fitted with at least one easily identifiable emergency stop button.
- Clean, adequately ventilated and lit sanitary and washing facilities should be provided at readily accessible places. Hot and cold or warm running water, soap and clean towels or other means of cleaning and drying should be provided. Men and women should have separate rooms with lockable doors.
- An adequate flow of drinking water from a mains supply, water dispensing system or bottled supply should be provided. Suitable drinking cups should also be available unless a water fountain is fitted.
- A secure space should be provided for workers where they can change into special work clothing and their clothing can be stored.
- Rest areas or rooms should be provided that are large enough and have sufficient seating with backrests and tables. Work areas can be counted as rest areas and eating facilities.
Making a compensation claim for an accident at work
If you have been involved in a non-fault accident at work and have sustained a personal injury then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
You could claim for pain and suffering, loss of past and future earnings through time taken off work and medical expenses such as prescriptions and treatments. We may even be able to provide you with top medical care in your area.
We offer a no win, no fee service to help you get the compensation you deserve. Read more about making a no win no fee claim.
To make a claim following an accident at work today just fill out one of our online assessment forms or call our 24 hour claim team on 0800 197 32 32.