6 Workplace Health & Safety Myths and Facts

Myth 1: “Complying with health and safety costs a lot of money.”

Fact: Managing health & safety does not need to be expensive for most small and medium-sized businesses.  The truth is, taking safety measures through safety training and adhering to compliance laws may cost you some money upfront, but it saves you more money and lives in the long run. The costs associated with work-related injuries and illness — sick pay, fines, legal costs and repairs — depending on the accident and injury, have the potential to be astronomical in comparison to the initial outlay.

 

Myth 2: “Health and safety … that’s just common sense.” 

Fact: Your common sense will only take you so far and that depends how good it is in the first place! But seriously, it might go a long way in keeping you relatively safe in your daily activities outside of the workplace and critical thinking is important in assessing hazards and risks in your workplace. However, the hazards and risks your employees face on the job are trickier and the consequences are more severe than what you confront on an average day. Carrying out the right safety training goes a long way in preventing accidents from occurring.

 

Myth 3: Manual Handling training, sure that’s been told how to lift a box properly!

Fact: If it was that easy no one would be getting injured in the process! Manual handling training is not necessary for all staff, and is not a one-size-fits-all type of course. Training needs to be specific and relevant to the tasks carried out by employees. For example, employees whose job includes moving heavy barrels around a warehouse need training that reflects exactly that. In fact, sending workers whose only ‘manual handling’ involves lifting light loads at waist height to a manual handling training would indeed be a waste of time!

 

Myth 4: “Accidents just happen — you cannot create a hazard-free workplace”

Fact: Research shows that over 99% of all accidents are preventable. Safety is an action word and requires you to do something through leadership. All workplaces should be targeting zero injuries and whilst situations do change over time which makes it difficult to identify and control hazards, all that means is your workplace safety efforts must be disciplined and diligent. Our moto is ‘Know Safety, No Accidents’ and trust us it is true!

 

Myth 5: “My employees are just careless.”

Fact: The cause of almost all workplace injuries and illness is unsafe practices. The only way to avoid them is through safety training, supervision, and other system changes.

Employees do unsafe things because either they don’t know their behavior is unsafe or they may perceive a payoff for their unsafe behavior (such as a temporary gain in production speed). You have to address safety regularly and consistently. Safety is not a one-shot deal but an ongoing, daily effort.

 

Myth 6:  If I work in an office, I won’t get Injured

Think again! Working in an office environment can put stress on both the mind and the body. Working indoors, in a seated position all day, can lead to a whole host of injuries, including: back and neck pain, vision strains and pain in the hands and wrists. There are a host of hazards that could be lurking in your office, such as tripping over a piece of furniture, electrical wires, loose carpeting or slipping on wet floors and event using a chair in place of a ladder.

Know Safety, No Accidents