A survey by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that 565,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury across 2021/22.
Watermans law firm has said more needs to be done to safeguard against workplace injuries. It states that statistically, the leading cause of personal injury in the UK is slips, trips and falls. It says that to prevent slip hazards, businesses should implement anti-slip equipment, grit walkways during cold snaps, fastidiously use wet-floor signs and put control measures in place when working with liquids.
Other common causes include moving objects. Watermans says many workers may find themselves on the receiving end of a moving or falling object. This may be especially common in a warehouse-type environment where stock is piled high or in fast-paced bar and restaurant work. Businesses should make sure potentially hazardous items are stored properly using appropriate containers and cages, in addition to providing storage training.
A repetitive strain injury is another common cause and may affect many different parts of the body and may be incurred when performing repetitive tasks that cause damage to the musculoskeletal or nervous system. Common activities could include, hairdressing, typing, factory work or spending long periods in a fixed position. Businesses can minimise this risk by encouraging employees to take frequent breaks and optimise their workstations to promote good posture and maximum comfort, according to Watermans.
Health and safety protocols
Susanne McGraw, head of injury at Watermans said: “The importance of health and safety protocols in the workplace cannot be overestimated. Most people go to work out of necessity, to pay for everyday things and to have a better life. It is therefore essential that employers look after their employees and provide them with a safe environment within which to work - and that employees follow the instructions provided to them.
"It should not be the case that someone leaves their home in the morning either never to return or return injured, simply because of a failure to follow simple health and safety guidelines.
"Businesses should implement the appropriate measures tailored to their working environment and any potential safety hazards. This will not only demonstrate the necessary duty of care to your workforce but also build trust in your brand reputation and help to avoid any costly legal procedures.”