As a business owner, the last thing you’ll want is for one of your employees to suffer an injury at work. The fallout could prove to be incredibly damaging, and here’s how…
When we go to work, we want to be sure that we’re safe. Whether someone is sitting behind a desk or spends their days on a construction site, the risk of suffering an injury is always apparent. It’s up to an employer to make sure that the risk of injury is reduced as far as possible.
Of course, there may be certain situations where an injury at work is unavoidable – accidents happen all the time! However, where an injury occurs, and it falls on the shoulders of the business someone works for, this can potentially open up a can of worms.
Here, we discuss what the potential consequences of an injury at work are likely to be for a business. We’ll also detail some simple ways you can make sure no such incidents take place. Be sure to read below to find out more.
What Could Happen to Your Business if There is an Injury at Work?
Employee Takes Legal Action
If one of your employees is injured at work, and it can be argued that it was the business’ responsibility to prevent said injury from happening, it may result in a legal case. For example, it may be possible for an employee to bring forward an accident at work claim if they have been injured as a result of health and safety procedures not being followed within the business.
As a business, you have various responsibilities towards your employees. You need to make sure that they’re fully trained, they have the right protective equipment, and that you undertake regular risk assessments to ensure they’re safe.
Your Operations Get Temporarily Shut Down
If the workplace injury in question is considered to be very serious or is the result of a significant equipment malfunction, it may be necessary for your business operations to be temporarily shut down as a health and safety measure.
This may be done to complete a full assessment of the accident or to provide time for essential repairs. Regardless, having your operations shut down for any amount of time is going to cost you money.
Various Hidden Costs
If an employee suffers a workplace injury, there are various ‘hidden costs’ which could damage your business. For instance, an injury may lead to a downturn in productivity levels, substantial sick pay, and temporary labour costs.
These costs can quickly mount up if the injury leaves an employee unable to work for a substantial period of time.
If employees see that one of their colleagues have suffered an injury at work, and it is deemed that the business is responsible, then it should come as no surprise that morale is likely to drop significantly. In the worst-case scenarios, this may even lead to strike action, which is something you will want to avoid at all costs.
Health and Safety Review
If there has been an injury at your workplace, there’s a strong chance that you will be subject to a full-scale health and safety review from an independent third party. If any health and safety issues are found, then you could be liable to receive hefty fines or see your operations shut down.
What Can Your Business do to Reduce the Potential for a Workplace Injury?
Given the possible consequences for a company, the best course of action is to reduce the likelihood of a workplace injury. Here are some ideas of ways to do this:
Conduct Regular Risk Assessments
Risk assessments should take place on a regular basis to ensure that there are no hazards in the workplace. Depending on the type of workplace your employees spend their time in, risk assessments could be carried out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, according to the COSHH regulations, LEV equipment should be thoroughly examined at least once every 14 months. The higher the potential risk, the more often risk assessments should be completed.
Risk assessments could look for:
- Physical risks: slip and trip hazards, faulty machinery.
- Mental risks: long hours leading to mistakes with equipment.
- Chemical risks: asbestos exposure, cleaning agents.
Schedule Frequent Training
Even if a workplace injury is caused by an employees’ mistake, if they did not receive the correct training, then your business is likely to be liable.
So, it goes without saying that you should schedule frequent training sessions for your employees. Even if someone has received training in the past, it’s a good idea to make sure they remain aware of how to safely carry out their job role.
Never Take Shortcuts
This is vital. Even if it might be more costly to follow strict health and safety procedures, or to replace equipment that presents a potential risk, there is no excuse for cutting corners.
Taking shortcuts with regards to safety in the workplace will always come back to bite you, and will put your employees in a vulnerable position.
Appoint a Health and Safety Officer
To keep on top of health and safety in the workplace, it’s a good idea to appoint a health and safety officer, or multiple officers, who can keep an eye on everything and reduce the potential for workplace injuries.
This doesn’t mean you have to specifically employ someone for this role. You can simply appoint one of your existing employees to take on the responsibility.
Are You Concerned About the Consequences of a Workplace Injury for Your Business?
In this post, we’ve discussed some of the potential consequences for your business if one of your employees were to suffer a workplace injury, as well as some of the ways you can avoid this from happening altogether.
Don’t get caught off guard; protecting your staff also protects your business.
Please note that this article is intended to provide basic information only and should not be used as a substitute for expert health and safety advice. Be sure to consult a health and safety professional if you’re seeking advice about health and safety in your workplace. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
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