Legally, in the UK, you must, at a minimum:
- Identify the issues that could cause injury or illness at your business.
- Decide the likeliness (or the risk) that someone could be harmed at the workplace, and how likely this risk is.
- Take the necessary steps to eliminate or control the risk in your workplace.
But how exactly can you manage risk in the workplace? If you are looking for ways to reduce and control risk in the work environment, here are some steps you can take.
Identify the risks
When it comes to controlling risk in the workplace, the very first thing you need to do is identify the different risks that may affect your employees or clients who visit your workplace. Some risks are easy to identify, such as tripping and falling on uneven surfaces. However, some risks, such as fire and electrical accidents, are difficult to understand and calculate.
Here are some of the most common types of risks that may occur in the workplace:
- Electrical accidents
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Machinery hazards and accidents
- Workplace harassment
- Fire risk
Although these are the most common risks, all of these vary from business to business. One of the easiest ways to decipher some of these risks is to conduct an official risk assessment with a professional, who will be able to tell you the risks that you need to manage and the likelihood of them occurring.
How to control risks identified through risk assessment
Once you have identified the risks and decided how likely they are to occur, the next and most important step is to control the risk. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of risks, and how you can easily remove or control them.
The likelihood of electrical accidents truly does depend on the field. For example, electricians have a high chance of getting hurt by electricity, however, any workplace which has any form of electrical equipment (so, every workplace) runs the risk of employees getting injured by an electrical accident. For instance, faulty electrical wires and plugs can seriously harm workers and clients.
Here are some ways you can prevent an electrical accident in the workplace:
- Regularly inspect the working area for signs of broken cords, uninsulated wires and other electrical hazards.
- Ensure workers who deal with electricity wear protective gear at all times.
- Train office staff on how to properly use electrical equipment and what to do if someone does get injured.
Machinery hazards and accidents
Again, the likelihood of a machinery accident in the workplace will largely depend on the workplace environment. Businesses such as factories, construction firms and manufacturing companies regularly deal with heavy machinery that could become potentially life-threatening. Therefore, it is imperative that risk assessments are carried out thoroughly when working with heavy equipment. Here are some ways you can manage the risk of heavy machinery:
- Make sure that everyone using the machinery is trained properly.
- Conduct regular risk assessments and training sessions.
- Use forms (such as mobile forms with Tapapp to report machinery usage and breakages.
- Ensure appropriate clothing and equipment is worn at all times.
The risk of fire is, with the right precautions, low. However, it can happen at any time and in any workplace. In the UK, there are a rigorous number of steps that you are legally required to follow as an employer to reduce the risk of fire, such as fire doors and fire extinguishers. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of fire in the workplace:
- Ensure fire detectors are regularly checked.
- Complete fire drills regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
- Ensure that there are numerous fire exits throughout the building.
Workplace harassment is an unfortunate yet common problem that occurs in many different workplaces. It is made up of any actions that routinely discriminate, threaten, abuse, ridicule or threaten employees. Victims of workplace harassment are often harassed because of their gender, sexual orientation, race or appearance, and it can leave long-lasting mental scars on the employee. Therefore, you need to reduce the risk of workplace harassment with a number of steps:
- Educate staff on what workplace harassment is.
- Encourage a work environment where employees can speak openly about their issues.
- Use online anonymous forms (such as a form from https://tapapp.cloud/) where employees can report harassment safely.
- Operate a no-tolerance policy to workplace harassment.
In workplaces where physical risks are not as high (such as offices), there are still a number of workplace risks associated with office workplaces. These include bad postures, frequent lifting, headaches from computer monitors and uncomfortable workplaces. Over time, these can cause a number of problems, so it is important to address them. Here are some ways you can reduce ergonomic risks in the workplace:
- Ensure that employees are regularly taking breaks and stretching.
- Make sure desk chairs support the back and have good lumbar support.
- Encourage employees to stretch with yoga activities.
- Encourage employees to take a 10-minute break for every 1 hour spent on a screen.
Understand and control risks with ease
There is one way that you can easily use the knowledge of your employees to help determine risk and to help reduce it in the workplace. Online and mobile forms can help employees to report risks in the workplace so that you can easily identify and remove them. With Tapapp, you can create a whole range of different forms that can be used for inspections, reporting and a whole host of different applications.
If you want to easily control risk in the workplace with online forms, get in touch with our team at Tapapp today to discuss options and pricing.
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