If your business operates in a labour-intensive manual industry, then there will be all kinds of hazards that your workers will be liable to. There are things that you as an employer can do for your workers to protect them and limit their risk of injury. Here are some tips on where to start.
The most common type of work-related illnesses in Britain are musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs. They typically cause problems like lower back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries. Repetitive heavy lifting, bending, twisting, working in uncomfortable positions, without long breaks, in too hot or cold environments or using the wrong or worn tools can all contribute to these injuries. Workers can be safeguarded against them by using equipment safely, not handling heavy or awkward loads, by taking regular breaks and varying their work to reduce repetitive tasks. As soon as any symptoms appear in your workers they should get treatment for them and have time to recover properly.
Lifting and Carrying
Having to lift and carry large difficult loads can easily cause back pain in workers. It’s important that they assess before carrying anything whether the load actually needs to be moved, they may be able to do their job where the load already is. If however they need to move it, they may be better off using a machine to help them. If that’s not possible then making the load smaller and easier to fit, as well as ensuring they have the right training and cutting down the distance to carry the load are all good ways to help prevent injury.
It’s the legal duty of an employer to assess the many hazards of their workplace in a risk assessment. If you run a business and employ staff then you must supply information, training and suitable protection to your workers against potential injury. Providing a suitable working environment is also essential. That means ensuring your warehouse or factory is properly equipped and laid out, with everything from the right machines for the job to sufficient lighting and good non-slip flooring – even if that means covering old floors with new material like a Dura slab trench cover.