Workshop Safety Tips

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Workplace accidents are one of the most common claims received by insurance companies. Businesses need to make sure they are fully protected and should review workshop insurance quotes to ensure that they have all the required policies. Companies of all sizes that operate a workshop based business will need to observe important safety rules to keep their business safe and accident-free.

Avoiding hazards and taking some precautions can help to reduce the risk of accidents and personal injury. While many incidents may be small or inconsequential, some workplace accidents can be fatal or life-threatening.

Workplace accident prevention can be managed and improved by observing some simple rules:

Reduce trip hazards

Keeping the workspace organised and free from clutter can help to reduce accident risks. Tools should be stored correctly and put away when not in use. Work stations and floors need to be clear from work debris, cables, or toolboxes. Removing trip hazards can prevent many accidents not only for employees but for visitors or customers.

Personal Protective Equipment

Companies provide Personal Protective Equipment to protect staff from injury or harm.

The operation of equipment or handling chemical substances may require PPE.  Make sure that any necessary protective wear is on hand and ready to use to reduce the risk of accidents or exposure to harmful liquids.

PPE is available in many forms, but all are designed to protect the body from damage or injury.

Types of PPE can include:

  • Face masks/shields
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Earplugs
  • Hard hats
  • Respirators
  • Safety shoes
  • Aprons

Some equipment is required by the HSE to provide adequate protection from hazards, spills or prevent damage to organs. It must be properly maintained to ensure that the correct protection is provided.

Use lifting aids

Back injuries and muscle strain are common workplace injuries. Lifting or moving heavy objects incorrectly can easily result in back injuries. Appropriate manual handling and lifting techniques can be used as a preventative injury measure and may be offered as training to employees.

Mechanical lifting aids should be on hand to manage loads that are too heavy for a person to lift. Any lifting equipment should be checked to ensure that it is capable of handling required loads, and it will need to be maintained on a regular basis to comply with health and safety regulations.

Inspect machinery and hand tools

Workshop environments often require the use of tools and mechanical equipment. If machinery is used, then it will need to be routinely checked for safety and effective operation. In addition, missing shields and safety guards will need to be replaced before operating the equipment.

Hand tools should be clean, maintained and in good condition before use. Loose handles, chipped or pitted surfaces or old rusty tools can cause accidents and will need to be replaced for safety reasons.

Noise control

Equipment, machinery, and power tools all output noise that can quickly exceed normal levels. Noisy environments will require the provision and use of proper ear protection to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Earplugs and protectors can help limit noise levels, and loud machinery like compressors should be operated from a closed area or outside to minimise noise.

Hazardous substances

Safe handling and storage of toxic or hazardous substances can help avoid nasty spills or chemical burns. Any chemicals should be used in a well-ventilated area, and protective equipment such as gloves and goggles should be used when handling corrosive liquids.

Correct storage of flammable items like LPG canisters or welding bottles will help avoid gas leaks problems. However, explosions in the workplace do happen, and workshops frequently have combustible materials that can cause injury and fires. Make sure any flammable gases are stored outside on a concrete surface.

Don’t run

This is probably one of the simplest safety rules, but ignoring it causes accidents every year. Running should never be permitted in the workshop; it poses a risk to the runner and to other people or employees.

Running across a workshop creates a higher chance of injury from falling, slipping, or crashing into objects.  It makes it harder to avoid incidents, and the impact is much higher than from walking, meaning that damage can be greater. Therefore, no person should ever be allowed to move faster than a normal walk in the workshop.

FAQS

What are the most common workshop accidents?

Slips, trips, and falls.

Cuts and injuries from blades and tools

Noise damage

Exposure to fumes and hazardous substances

Manual handling injuries

Can workshop accidents be reduced?

Following safety rules and providing PPE combined with the correct training can reduce accidents substantially. In addition, training employees on the correct operation of machinery, equipment and proper handling of harmful substances can reduce workplace incidents.

Should a risk assessment be performed?

While not required, it can be beneficial to perform risk assessments to identify and remove potential safety risks.

What are the fire safety regulations?

All workplaces are required to provide fire extinguishers, and some types of business may require additional equipment or emergency lighting. Fire exits should be clearly marked, and alarms tested regularly. In addition, fire safety training should be offered to all employees and staff members.

Final words

Many workshop accidents can be avoided by using common sense and following required health and safety rules. However, the correct safety regulations will need to be followed for workshops that have employees and produce large quantities of work. In addition, companies will need to have the right insurance in place.

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