All businesses and organisations in the world enact health and safety codes and regulations as a means of eliminating the incidence of workplace-related accidents. Employees have the prerogative to be protected against injuries, disease, and all other types of accidents. The right to safety is one of the most basic for all companies. However, that doesn’t mean that accidents have been completely eliminated from the workplace environment.
In fact, many things still need to be improved, and the journey towards achieving 100% safety in all workplaces remains elusive, particularly because there are so many variables that must be taken into careful consideration depending on the industry or business niche in which a company operates.
Here are some of the aspects that must always be evaluated when it comes to workplace accidents, whether it’s about reporting them or reducing their incidence.
Should it be reported?
Not all workplace accidents are severe. While some leave the victim with lasting health damage and can drastically reduce the quality of life, others are so minor that they can even go unnoticed. For example, you might trip and fall or come down with a superficial cut on your hand while operating machinery. You might be tempted to think that these injuries shouldn’t be reported since the physical discomfort is minimal, and there are generally no long-term effects to be concerned about.
However, even if your injuries weren’t that serious, it’s still important to discuss them with the management. For example, becoming injured when working with machinery may have been a minor issue for you, yet another employee can be wounded more severely due to a malfunction in the machinery that you failed to report. Informing your manager about the problem ensures there’ll be a follow-up and that the situation can be assessed objectively to determine why the accident occurred.
Suppose you believe your injury came as a direct result of your employer’s or supervisor’s negligence. In that case, you can reach out to https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/ to discuss the amount of compensation you might be eligible to receive. The sum depends on the part of the body affected, as well as whether or not there was any lasting damage associated with your wounds that impacts your quality of life.
The number of injuries
Worldwide, countries and administrative regions hold comprehensive data on how many workers become victims of workplace accidents in a given year. Within the European Union, there were 2.7 million non-fatal occupational accidents that resulted in workers having to take four or more days off in order to recover completely. Tragically, over 3000 workplace injury incidents were fatal. The figures were nonetheless slightly lower than the ones recorded in 2019. Nevertheless, this could also be explained by a reduction of activity in several sectors as a result of the pandemic.
In the UK, health and safety statistics show that nearly 2 million individuals are dealing with a work-related illness. Of this number, the most considerable portion, over 900,000 workers, believe their workplace has caused them to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Nearly 480,000 have developed a musculoskeletal disorder due to their working environment, while a whopping 123,000 claim they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 while at work. About 3,000 were left with serious lifelong complications due to past asbestos exposure in the workplace.
The figures add up to 36.8 million working days that were lost as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses, figures which are also correlated with the affected employees having to deal with lower earnings. The estimated costs associated with the injuries stand at close to £20 billion. These statistics show that although the number of people that become injured at work has decreased over the years, the percentage of people sustaining a workplace injury remains significant.
Industrial catastrophes can cause hundreds of fatalities and leave many employees permanently disabled. In India in 2021, a federal minister informed the parliament that at least 6,500 people had lost their lives in occupational accidents at mines, ports, factories and construction sites over the past five years.
While completely eliminating accidents might very well remain an impossible task, that doesn’t mean that preventing them as much as possible and aiming to reduce their number is a futile pursuit. Raising awareness and seeking to implement safer working procedures guarantees that more workers can carry out their tasks in perfect safety.
Carrying out regular risk assessments is one of the most important aspects, particularly in the case of businesses that are constantly developing and whose processes are continually changing. The audits should include the equipment used, the workload each employee has to carry out, as well as the particular risks of certain employee demographics, such as pregnant women or disabled individuals.
The workers should also have adequate training before engaging in any tasks. If their roles within the company change, additional training must be provided. This is essential for both personal safety and the health and security of everyone else working with you.
If any risk is identified during the assessment, it should be addressed promptly and efficiently. Neglecting a minor issue with the machinery, for example, can cause it to become worse and potentially cause a significant amount of damage. The employees should be actively involved in this endeavour as well. After all, they’re the ones directly carrying out the processes on a regular basis.
With technological solutions becoming more commonplace across all industries, it’s natural to expect new tools to be integrated into the workplace safety process. Incorporating artificial intelligence in the area of occupational safety could reduce the number of potential workplace hazards. The system could gather and use data in order to determine the most likely accident causes and remove the risks even before they occur. Reporting tools could also become more efficient, making the procedures much faster overall, as well as significantly safer.
The importance of workplace safety measures cannot be overstated. When businesses value security, they create a better working environment and can even save lives.
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