21 December 2020

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Being Safe At Work: What You Need To Know

Being safe at work is something that all employers and employees need to bear in mind at all times...

Being Safe At Work: What You Need To Know
Being Safe At Work: What You Need To Know (Image by malateronald)
Being safe at work is something that all employers and employees need to bear in mind at all times. Although it is the employer’s responsibility to put systems in place that make working safer, the employee also has a responsibility to ensure they are following the rules and not making any mistakes that could ultimately be dangerous.
Read on to find out more about healthy and safety at work and how you can ensure you are always keeping as safe as possible.

Know The Risks

The first thing that anyone, employer or employee, is going to need to know about are the risks involved in any tasks or processes that take place within the business. Some will be more problematic than others, but everything will need to have a risk assessment carried out.

This is particularly true of equipment and tools. There must be a risk assessment about each item, looking at what might be an issue and working out ways to resolve it. If you have ladders, for example, that need to be used a lot, then you might minimize the risk by having harnesses available to use or ensuring that working at heights is always done in pairs (with one to hold the ladder). If you use a conveyor belt then wearing the right safety equipment is essential, and so on.

Once you know the risks you can determine how to avoid or reduce them, and everyone will be much safer. This might involve additional training which is always a good idea.

Implement Regular Break Times

Although it might seem as though it would be more productive to work non-stop without breaks – you will get more done in the same amount of time – it is actually the opposite. Working without breaks leads to less productivity due to tiredness or neglect. The brain needs to rest regularly for it to work at its best, and by forcing someone to work without taking regular breaks, you are causing problems. It is unsafe for someone who is tired due to lack of breaks to continue working.

As a business owner, you should implement regular break times throughout the day, or allow your workers to take breaks as they are required to ensure the safest and most productive team. As a worker, you should always make use of the break times you are given to ensure you are always safe.

Use Protective Equipment

If a task’s risk assessment identifies that you need to use protective equipment or clothing – otherwise known aspersonal protective equipment’ or PPE – then this is what you must do when carrying out a specific task or using a piece of equipment.

If you are an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that this equipment is provided, and if you are an employee, you must wear the equipment as instructed. If PPE has not been provided and you need it, then you must speak to your employer about the issue so that it can be addressed.

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