Slips and falls no laughing matter
Every day cross the country thousands of people suffer unnecessary personal injuries due to easily avoidable hazards. A particular source of these injuries is the workplace and in particular physically strenuous jobs such as construction.
Over a number of years the Health and Safety Executive has led many campaigns in order to highlight the importance of adequate health and safety procedures that will prevent, amongst other things, slips, trips and falls and machinery accidents.
Despite this and despite the higher awareness of injuries across the nation many businesses and councils are either unwilling or unable to fully deal with correct accident prevention procedures.
Slips and trips
Despite their general treatment within comedic circles common slips can actually turn out to be a very serious thing indeed. Many thousands each year are affected by severe injuries, which often require long periods off work after apparently minor falls. The elderly are often the most at risk from falls, slips and trips on roads and pavements. The makes up a substantial portion of public liability claims.
Pam Waldron, head of operations for the HSE, said: "Unfortunately, people often think that slips, trips and falls are trivial, even comical but they are no joke to those who suffer major injuries, time off work and a lifetime of disability. And sometimes they result in fatal injuries."
A slip or fall at work is particularly unfortunate because of the great work that has been done in recent years to raise awareness of correct health and safety procedure. Making sure that procedures are followed by both staff and management alike remain one of the prime concerns along with keeping the lessons learned fresh in the minds of employees.
"We want to get people thinking about how these incidents happen and how they can be easily avoided. It's usually about taking common sense actions and precautions at little or no cost. If you spot something which could cause an accident, then deal with it. don't assume that somebody else will," Added Waldron.
"The lives of workers and their families are shattered by the serious consequences of these accidents. Simple measures introduced by businesses can make a positive difference."
Simple measure can make all the difference
These 'simple measures' can often be as basic as making sure that all floors are dry, which can also be vital in terms of preventing public liability accidents for customers in a retail environment.
Keeping boxes and other things out of the walk spaces is also vital, particularly in areas where people are also carrying either equipment or tools and may not be able to see hazards at floor level.
Some employers can seek to cut corners by scaling back on expenditure for health and safety training, for their workers but this is a false economy because the compensation claim that can arise when an accident occurs can be much bigger than any saving that were gained.
David snowball from the HSE condluded: "The cost of preventing accidents is almost always less than what the business faces – both in financial and human terms – after an accident. Additionally, good organisations deal with health and safety as an integral part of their everyday activity, not as an add-on."