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Tips for improving health and safety in the workplace

schedule 5th October 2015 by Virtual College in Virtual College

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Workplace health and safety is incredibly important. Employers have a key role to play in protecting the wellbeing of their workers, and doing so can reduce sickness absences, improving a company's overall productivity.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that workplace injuries cost the UK economy £14.9 billion between 2015 and 2016, with more than 600,000 injuries reported in total during this period.

Companies cannot afford this loss of productivity and earnings in the current climate, so it is vital that employers advocate a high standard of health and safety in their workplaces. Virtual College's e-learning health and safety courses can help with this, but here are a few basic workplace health and safety tips to get you started:

Inspect your workplace

The first step to improving health and safety in the workplace is to carry out an inspection, with the help of a registered health and safety officer. They will be experienced in identifying any hazards with your workplace layout and will be trained to point out any pitfalls you might have overlooked yourself.

Create a health and safety plan

After the inspection has been conducted, you need to devise a health and safety plan to control and eliminate hazards in your workplace, involving employees every step of the way to make sure everyone knows what is required of them.

For example, let staff know where the communal first aid kit is kept and make everyone aware of your fire drill procedure. Even little things like this will all contribute towards a safer work environment and will reduce the risk of absences due to workplace injuries.

Train your employees

It's also essential to provide your employees with health and safety training, especially in labour-intensive roles, but it's important in an office environment too.

Ideally, health and safety training should take place within working hours. It can be conducted via the Virtual College Learning Management System, allowing employees to pick it up when they have a spare moment, with their progress being tracked as they go.

Hold regular meetings

After training has been carried out, hold regular meetings with staff where they can voice their opinions or raise any concerns about your workplace health and safety.

Feedback on your health and safety training should also be welcomed so you can see where it might benefit from improvements.

Keep health and safety records up to date

Keeping proper health and safety records is extremely important. You should make a note of the dates that inspections and training take place, as well as when any incidents occur, plus follow-up actions.

Looking over these records regularly will help you to identify trends in your workplace conditions so you can take action to rectify issues where needed.

Your data will also contribute towards the Health and Safety Executive's annual workplace health and safety data. Make sure your company isn't contributing avoidable work-related illnesses and injuries to this by taking a Virtual College health and safety course. Find out more about these here.

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Author: Virtual College

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