Not all health & safety improvements need to be expensive or time consuming to implement; often we advise on simple changes that prevent accidents occurring. These simple changes mean the employer can better control their risks and their employees can work safely with the risk of injury reduced.
Some changes involve the way the employees have become used to working; for instance recently on an inspection we questioned the condition of guarding on a machine only to be told they didn’t use it. When asked why the manager said they wore safety glasses so thought it was okay for the guards not to be used. The rationale behind this was that the glasses would protect the operator’s eyes; what was not considered was what if they were hit elsewhere or if someone else was struck by a flying object. The simple change was to repair the guard and ensure it was used in future; an inexpensive fix that could prevent a serious injury.
Another example is routine checking of housekeeping; it’s well known that slips, trips and falls account for a significant proportion of major workplace injuries yet how many businesses do the simple things to prevent adding to this statistic. We see too often that when people get busy, keeping the workplace tidy quickly slips and that leaves more things to fall over. If this happens and someone is badly injured then how much time and effort is needed to investigate and RIDDOR report? Probably more than implementing a few simple inspections if truth be told!
Maybe in your business you just need to develop a new working procedure or implement training through tool box talks or provide some better PPE; whatever it is don’t wait until it has gone wrong. Take the time to implement the simple things because long term it will definitely save you grief.