Sometimes, the stress of running a business can run anyone into the ground, and safety and maintenance are sometimes forgotten. It is all to easy to avoid a loose wire or to ignore replacing a rickety old office chair if you have so many more pressing matters at hand jotted down in your schedule.
However, having an accident at work is no walk in the park and is not a matter that is simply swept under the table. Not only will you lose a valuable member of your team and lose productivity for that day, but you can be slapped with a lawsuit too because of neglect. If your employee decides to sue your company for compensation, you will stand a chance to lose a large sum of money. There are many solicitors around these days that specialise in just personal injury claims, including accidents at work. This is all they do and they know the ins and outs of persuing successful and large compensation claims for their clients. As an example, this website shows just one of the 100's of personal injury claim solicitors http://www.yespi.co.uk/personal-injury?id=3
As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your employees safe. A safe, healthy work environment is mandatory, especially in high risk jobs such as construction, engineering, and manufacturing.
To keep your workplace safe, I have compiled a few tips to help you.
Hire a safety inspector -- In most parts, it is possible to hire a safety inspector that will assess the safety of your workplace in accordance to British safety laws. They will likely check your electrical outlets, your appliances, and your machinery if you have any. Cracks in the walls, workplace layout, and escape routes are also noted.
Maintain equipment -- Proper equipment maintenance is of course mandatory. Maintenance reduces the risks of failures and malfunctions, which could lead to an injury or two. Even if you work in a low-risk environment such as an office space, you will end up encountering some problems with equipment, such as appliance failures, shortages, and breakages. You may also need to replace some old equipment with new ones. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing health and safety at many workplaces but some are governed by the local authority, depending on the type of work place. As an example here is their webpage about maintaining electrical equipment http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/maintenance/safety.htm
Develop a safety plan and guidelines -- Whether you have a small or large work area, you would have to put together safety rules that everyone would have to follow. Try to inform your employees about safety procedures and discourage risky behaviour. You should also have a proper escape plan complete with unobstructed escape routes in case of an emergency.
Train your employees -- When it comes to heavy equipment and other kinds of processes, proper training of your employees vastly reduces work place accidents. Train them so that they become completely proficient at their tasks and make sure that you evaluate their work constantly to see whether or not they are following all safety procedures.
Hire a safety officer -- Though safety officers are not always needed in small businesses, large factory settings and engineering sites would require a full time safety officer to oversee all of the company's processes.
Teach first aid -- First aid lessons are useful in any setting, and having your whole team know how to provide basic first aid is a great to significantly reduce deaths and accidents at the workplace. The British Red Cross offers training courses and their website gives all the information you need http://www.redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk/
Each work place has specific safety needs, and it is up to you to keep everyone safe.
While it is true that insurance and healthcare are two things added to your monthly expenses that could actually be skipped, the simple truth is you need both of them. There is no sense in not having insurance and a healthcare plan (these two go together) especially if you work in a field that puts you at risk from day to day. The additional hazard pay is nowhere near enough what you might need if you something happens. Even if the chance of you getting hurt is like the chance of you getting struck by lightning, and even if you’re so careful that it’s unlikely you’ll get hurt, it’s best you take care of yourself anyway—otherwise getting in an accident may just lead to your financial death.
Insurance is something that cannot be taken lightly. It’s there in case something happens to you—just like in the case of a woman who traveled, climbed aboard a ship, slipped, and hit her head. Now she cannot go back home to her own country because she has incurred nearly £100,000 in medical debt—simply because she decided she would not bother to pay the travel insurance. Don’t allow yourself to become like her.
Insurance and healthcare both work for you, not against you. The monthly expense is a small price to pay for keeping you healthy and happy, and even alive. It might even keep you sane in cases where your medical bills get so high that it’s in the six digits. Take for example a woman who had troubles delivering her child. Her original plan for a four digit medical bill blew up into the six digit range. With a new baby, how would you pay that off on top of your mortgage and car payments? Good thing she had her insurance, which significantly brought down her costs.
But if you have been caught off guard, don’t fret. If something happens and you get in an accident, assess the situation, see if it is your fault, or see if someone else is at fault. Don’t just make things up, of course—karma will get you there—but if you are in a situation where you got hurt due to something someone else did, then you may be able to file charges with the help of a solicitor in order to get reimbursement for your medical care. In some cases you might even be able to get a financial settlement for your pain and suffering.