These days, business owners across a broad spectrum of industries are faced with an increasing complexity of health and safety laws and regulations.
Workplace health and safety requirements carry an overriding duty of care’ responsibility that the business owner must consider regarding company personnel and visitors to the business and customers.
With a myriad of factors and health and safety-related concerns to navigate, here are some key solutions to crystallize thinking for the small to medium-sized business proprietor.
A modern range of lifts and access solutions
Let’s identify some of the key health and safety factors and outline a set of suggested facility upgrade solutions. A full description of the solutions available can be found at the link provided.
Common causes of injury in the workplace
Statistically, the most common workplace injuries reported are slips, trips, and falls, with accidents occurring on steps and staircases accounting for a large proportion of serious injuries. Slips, trips, and falls account for one-third of all reported workplace injuries, and as such, they are the top cause of worker’s compensation claims.
It stands to reason that a key point of focus for the astute business owner should be in identifying and risk assessing potential tripping and falling hazards in the workplace.
Given the proportion of those injuries occurring on steps and stairs, an investigation of upgrading those points of access may be worthy of attention, with a view to an upgrade to a lift installation as a safer alternative. This investment may be an extremely cost-effective initiative for businesses with high foot traffic and regular personnel movements, given the potential for lost time due to staff accidents and attendant worker’s compensation claims.
For many businesses, the simple upgrade to a personal lift instead of a standard staircase may also mean a general increase in productivity resulting from the improved movement time afforded by a modern lift installation.
Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries
The most costly workplace injuries are musculoskeletal disorders. Back pain and back injury fall into this category and cost employers more than 7 billion dollars annually in the USA, resulting in 100 million lost workdays annually attributed to this complaint.
Once again, a good workplace risk assessment should also focus on hazards and danger areas, resulting in back injuries for your operational staff.
A major causative factor of back and skeletal injuries is improper lifting technique and strain from repetitive lifting. With respect to lift solutions, a range of equipment upgrades are available to minimize effort – consider investing in good lifts or step lifts to reduce manual handling strain.
Given the statistical evidence concerning worker downtime and compensation outlay, the opportunity cost may well outweigh the plant and technology upgrade’s investment cost.
Customer considerations – ease of access and mobility impaired customers
ADA standards and guidelines outline a full set of requirements to follow concerning catering for disabled and mobility impaired persons in a commercial setting.
As a starting point to crystallize thinking, it will be beneficial to apply the same basic considerations applied above when you risk assessing your place of business concerning customer health and safety.
A range of lifts are available for multi-story business premises to accommodate wheelchair users and mobility impaired customers and visitors. Complimentary alternatives to wheelchair ramps such as automated step lifts may also be factored into the upgrade package.
Use these factors to prioritize your thinking. With the major risk factors outlined above in mind, run a focused risk assessment of the workplace and formulate a risk matrix identifying the relevant hazards. Stay that one step ahead of your competition and maximize safety.