Danger In The Workplace

Going to work could be the most dangerous thing we do this week.

New figures from the Health and Safety Executive show 402 people were badly hurt in trips, slips or falls in their workplace here in Somerset last year.  South Somerset had the highest figure (133), then came Taunton Deane (91), Sedgemoor (82), Mendip (81) and West Somerset (15).  And it's not just places like building sites or factories where the accidents were happening.  Offices proved just as risky, with items like files and folders left on the floor for an unsuspecting colleague to trip over.  So now the HSE have re-launched their Shattered Lives safety campaign, packed full of tips for keeping our workplaces safer.  The advice includes..

1  If you spill anything at work, clean it up immediately.  Don't wait for the cleaners to come in later that day.  A spilt substance can easily cause an accident.

2  Leaving boxes around can cause a serious trip hazard. Deliveries should be put into proper storage as quickly as possible and pallets or packaging cleared away. Your actions can make a real difference.

3  An unexpected obstacle in your path can cause a serious trip and fall. It is important to keep walkways clear, so make sure boxes, bags, cables and other obstacles aren’t left hanging around.

4  Steps or ramps are places where a worker can trip or fall. If you have changes in level or ramps in your workplace think about sensible measures to make sure everyone knows where they are.

5  Using the wrong cleaning method or the wrong cleaning equipment can put staff at risk by making the floor slippery. Make sure cleaners know the correct cleaning method and use it.

6  On construction sites, ensure that scaffold platforms have suitable edge protection in the form of double guardrails and toe boards at every edge to prevent people and materials falling.

7  In kitchens, an overflowing sink or a leak that causes water to drip onto the floor can create a serious slip hazard, especially on a smooth floor. Stop it from getting onto the floor in the first place: turn off taps and fix leaks quickly. Use drip trays or something similar as a temporary measure.

8  It's easy to trip on damaged floors, if you spot an area of damage arrange for it to be fixed straight away, don't put off repairs. As a temporary measure, highlight the damaged area, report it and where possible keep staff away.

9  Emptying oil from deep fat fryers can be difficult. Make sure you and your staff follow the manufacturers instructions to do this work safely.

10  If you have an issue with slips and trips in your workplace, get your team together and look at how you can work together to make your workplace a safer environment. Think about where the main risks to workers are and how to address them