10 Workplace Safety Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Health and safety is always important, but especially in the workplace. We spend a huge proportion of time at our jobs, so it's essential that everything works like clockwork with minimal risk. It's a shared responsibility between employers and employees with rules, policies and procedures in place to make everything plain as day.

Want to make sure your place of work is compliant? We've compiled a list of ten work safety disasters which can all be avoided...

1. Slips and trips

Slips and trips are the biggest culprits of accidents. They can be caused by numerous things such as uneven floor, wet surfaces due to bad weather, trailing cables, poor housekeeping and other avoidable circumstances. Make sure everyone remembers to keep things tidy as they work, and be sure to use wet floor signs when appropriate.

2. Heavy lifting

If your works involves heavy lifting of any kind, you'll need training to avoid musculoskeletal or repetitive strain injuries. If it's something you do constantly - say you're a builder - then direct any queries to your employer. It's their responsibility to provide manual handling training and even lifting equipment if necessary.

3. Fires

No matter where you work, a fire is possible. Make sure everything is in place to prevent and deal with one - you'll need training, fire extinguishers and blankets, plenty of clear exits and a meeting point.

4. Electrical fault

Work in an office with lots of computers and technology? That many cables could be asking for trouble. Make sure your work is compliant by looking out for PAT test stickers on appliances and keeping cables safely secured.

5. Falling

Working from a height has obvious dangers. Ladder safety is taken very seriously in most workplaces, but there are certain things you can remember to ensure safe usage such as making sure the ladder is level on the ground and having someone hold the ladder who's on ground level.

6. Operating machinery

The key things to look out for in a job before operating machinery is whether you've had sufficient training and if the vehicle/device is being regularly checked and maintained.

7. Burns

Chefs and metalworkers in particular are susceptible to burns in the workplace. Common sense and training ought to be enough to prevent this from happening but should it occur, make sure to run the burn under ice cold water straight away.

8. Solvents

If you use household or workplace solvents on a regular basis, you'll need to make sure you're protected from any potential toxic fumes or fluids. Gloves, masks, goggles and boiler suits are the way to go.

9. Tiredness

It may not seem like an obvious hazard, but fatigued workers are more likely to have an accident. This is mostly down to the employee who needs to ensure they have enough sleep, but if unreasonable shifts are to blame then you need to speak to your employer.

10. Driving

We've already covered machinery, but driving on the roads specifically is one of the biggest killers in the UK. Drivers must not be tired, drinking or on their mobile phone - in fact, mobile phones are set to overtake drink-driving as the biggest killer on the road.

It's important to ensure workplaces meet health and safety standards to avoid any of these potential disasters. And it's good practice for both employers and employees to follow guidelines to ensure everyone's on the same page.