High risk areas in the workplace and how to manage them

No workplace is the same; each has its own specific environment with different needs. For example, a chef working within a restaurant kitchen faces very different risks to an engineer working on an oilrig. However, there are types of risks and injuries that affect most workplaces. According to HSE over 646,000 people working in the UK were injured in work between 2012 and 2013 [1].

How can employers better understand where the workplace risks lie, in order to avoid adding to these statistics?

Below is a list of some of the most common types of injury in the workplace:

Lifting, Handling, and Carrying

Injuries range from sprains, trapped fingers and cuts, right through to musculoskeletal disorders all caused from lifting objects. This section accounted for the highest amount of working days lost from 2012-13 with an estimated 1,600,000 days lost [2].

Slipping and Tripping

Slips and trips made up over half of non-fatal injuries to UK employees 2012/13 [3]. Although these types of injury rarely result in fatalities, long-term injuries can occur, meaning increased sick days.  In fact slips and trips caused over triple the amount of major injuries as almost any other type of accident or injury and resulted in over 3 million working days lost in 2012/13.

Falling from a Height

Falls from height have the highest fatality rate, at 20% of all fatal injuries in 2012/13 [4]. Half of these occurred in the construction industry and a large chunk within the agricultural industry. For non-fatal injuries, falls from a height still make up a large amount of work days lost, over 700,000.

Struck by a Moving Vehicle

Injuries involving moving vehicles are shown to be most common in industries concerned with storage, manufacturing and wholesale. For minor and major injuries the amount of people stuck by a moving vehicle is fairly low, especially in comparison to other kinds of injury. However, when fatal injuries are concerned, being stuck by a moving vehicle caused 15 deaths in 2012/13 [5], only topped by people falling from a height or death caused by contact with machinery. 

Assault

Assault may not seem like a major risk area when health and safety is concerned. However, HSE lists physical assault in amongst their top kinds of injury in the workplace. It is estimated that just under 250,000 work days are lost [6] as a result of assault and over 3000 physical assault injuries resulted in over 7 days consecutive absence from work.

The solution to these issues lies in a number of different areas. Communicating with employees enables an organisation to understand their concerns and tackle any potential issues raised by the people who know the workplace environment best. Although employees can often flag many potential risk areas in the workplace, analytical software can give a much more detailed and in depth outline of where the weak spots lie in your organisation.

Powerful QHSE software such as airsweb® logs minor accidents, analyses potential health and safety and security risks and provides feedback as to where solutions may be needed. These solutions could mean improved education to workers or different equipment needed in certain areas, but by using risk assessment software, risks can be identified and solutions provided on a large scale across an organisation.

When a total of 34 million workdays were lost due to work place related injuries [7]; Can your business afford not to improve its health and safety? Call Airsweb today on: +44 (0)151 289 6811 for more information about our auditing and assessment software and let us help you find the right solution for your organisation.

Lee Davies

Glenn Hardy

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/index.htm

[2] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/handling-injuries.pdf

[3] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/slips-trips-and-falls.pdf

[4] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/kinds-of-accident.pdf

[5] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/moving-vehicles.pdf

[6] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/kinds-of-accident.pdf

[7] http://www.hse.gov.uk/STATISTICS/causinj/kinds-of-accident.pdf

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